The Baobabs: Trees of Considerable Importance

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  • Topic: Adansonia, Adansonia digitata, Adansonia grandidieri
  • Pages : 8 (1946 words )
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  • Published : November 25, 2012
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1. Description

2. Background Information
a. Common Names
African Baobab, Baobab, Monkey Bread Tree, Upside Down Tree, Cream of Tartar Tree

b. Scientific Name
Adansonia digitata L.

c. Family Name
Bombacaceae

3. Species
a. Adansonia digitata L.
b. Adansonia Grandidieri
c. Adansonia Gregorii
d. Adansonia Madagascarcariensis
e. Adansonia Perrieri
f. Adansonia rubrostipa
g. Adansonia suarezensis
h. Adansonia za

4. Geographical Distribution/Distribution Range
a. Located in Semiarid regions of tropical Africa, including countries south of the Sahara except Liberia, Uganda, Djibouti, Burundi and Central African Republic. b. Found in coastal areas of eastern and western Africa

c. In East Africa – found in the lowlands

5. Conservation Status

6. Importance and Use
a. Leaves
b. Fruit
c. Food Uses
d. Seeds

7. Environmental Characteristics

8. Morphological Traits and Variation
a. Characteristics
b. Traits
c. Genetic Variation

9. Threats

10. Socio-economic Value

11. Environmental Impact

12. Effects on Indigenous People

Adansonias reach heights of 5 to 30 m (16 to 98 ft) and have trunk diameters of 7 to 11 m (23 to 36 ft)

• Adansonia digitata L. – African Baobab (western, northeastern, central & southern Africa, and in Oman and Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula, Asia) • Adansonia grandidieri Baill. – Grandidier's Baobab (Madagascar) • Adansonia gregorii F.Muell. (syn. A. gibbosa) – Boab or Australian Baobab (northwest Australia) • Adansonia madagascariensis Baill. – Madagascar Baobab (Madagascar) • Adansonia perrieri Capuron – Perrier's Baobab (North Madagascar) • Adansonia rubrostipa Jum. & H.Perrier (syn. A. fony) – Fony Baobab (Madagascar) • Adansonia suarezensis H.Perrier – Suarez Baobab (Diego Suarez, Madagascar) • Adansonia za Baill. – Za Baobab (Madagascar)[5]

Distributional range:
      Native:
• AFRICA
Northeast Tropical Africa: Chad; Ethiopia; Somalia; Sudan East Tropical Africa: Kenya; Tanzania
West-Central Tropical Africa: Cameroon; Zaire
West Tropical Africa: Benin; Burkina Faso; Cote D'Ivoire; Ghana; Guinea; Mali; Niger; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Togo South Tropical Africa: Angola; Malawi; Mozambique; Zambia; Zimbabwe Southern Africa: Botswana; Namibia; South Africa - Transvaal Western Indian Ocean: Madagascar

      Naturalized:
• widely naturalized in tropics

      Cultivated:
• AFRICA
Africa
• ASIA-TROPICAL
Indian Subcontinent: Bangladesh; India; Sri Lanka
Malesia: Indonesia - Java
• SOUTHERN AMERICA
Caribbean: West Indies
South America

An Ecosystem Within a Tree

The sculptured branches, with their hollows, dents and bloated stems, provide shelter and home for a great variety of animals. Galagos (bushbaby), squirrels, rodents, lizards, snakes and tree frogs, as well as spiders, scorpions and insects may live out their entire life in a single tree. Holes in the trunk provide ideal nesting sites for birds such as rollers, hornbills, parrots, kestrels and spinetails. Larger cavities are frequently occupied by families of Barn Owls or Ground Hornbills. Eagles, vultures and storks frequently build their large stick nests on the outer branches, and the colonial nests of Red-billed Buffalo-weavers are more often found in Baobabs than any other tree.

Uses to Mankind

For centuries, the baobab tree has played an important role in the economy and culture of Africa. Practically every part of the tree is useful and in Sudan they are so highly valued that individual trees may be privately owned! The wood itself is too fibrous for structural use but the bark is shredded into strands of fibre for use as rope,...
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