Variability of Seed Germination and Seedling Growth Potential of Ricinodendron heudelotii (Euphorbiaceae) at Fine Scale in Southern of Benin

  • Yves Yatindo Boko-Haya University of Parakou
  • Christine A. I. N. Ouinsavi, PhD University of Parakou
  • Eben-Ezer B. K. Ewédjè, PhD Université Nationale des Sciences, Technologies, Ingénierie et Mathématiques
  • Yanick Y. Akin University of Parakou
  • Thérence Zinkpe Université d’Abomey-Calavi
  • Clément Agbangla, PhD University of Abomey-Calavi
Keywords: Seed Quality, Seed Source, Dormancy Lifting, Reforestation, Ricinodendron heudelotii, Baill., Benin
Share Article:


Ricinodendron heudelotii (Euphorbiaceae) is an oilseed plant with high socio-economic value. Unfortunately, the seed’s tegumentary dormancy causes low germination and severely limits its large-scale spread. Germination and juvenile growth of eleven provenances from Benin and Central African Republics were tested under four different pre-treatments (control, lime scarification, soaking in water for seven days and scarification followed by soaking in water for three days) in order to provide information for use in the reforestation and improvement of R. heudelotii. In a Fischer block with three replicates of ten seeds, the daily and final germination (nine months) was recorded and the cumulative germination rate, average germination time and survival rate were calculated. In addition, total height, diameters at the collar and above the cotyledons, internode length, total number of leaves and seedling internodes were measured quarterly. Germination and growth of juveniles were significantly different between provenances and pre-treatments. The highest germination rate (%) in short duration (d) was recorded with seeds both scarified and soaked for three days in water from Akouho (20%, 42.08 d), CRAPP (36.67%, 18.82 d), Agrimey (33.33%, 18.30 d), Ilikimou (26.67%, 19.94 d) and Woroko (26.67%, 19.25 d) and then lime scarified seeds from Massi (80%, 14.46 d), Itchede (80%, 21.29 d) and Lobaye (60%, 19.11 d). Seedlings from seeds that were scarified and soaked for three days in water showed optimal growth for all traits; Lobaye and CRAPP provenances showed the best height growth (33.22±1.45 and 31.96±1.15 cm) while Massi and Illikimou provenances showed the best growth in collar diameter (1.08±0.06 and 1.11±0.09 cm). Provenances and pre-treatments revealed a discrete variation in germination and growth of R. heudelotii. Scarification on the one hand and scarification coupled with soaking into the water for three days on the other hand, are the best pre-treatments to increase seedling production while the best provenances are Lobaye, Massi and Itchede. These provenances are potential seed sources for Forestation Program in Benin.


Download data is not yet available.


Akaffou, S. D., Kouame, A. K., Gore, N. B. B., Abessika, G. Y., Kouassi, H. K., Hamon, P., ... & Duminil, J. (2019). Effect of the seeds provenance and treatment on the germination rate and plants growth of four forest trees species of Côte d’Ivoire. Journal of Forestry Research, 1-9.

Al-Fredan, M. A., & Ali, Y. S. (2008). Seed scarification requirement in doum (Hyphaene thebaica Mart.). Scientific Journal of King Faisal University (Basic and Applied Sciences), 9(2), 75-84.

Aref, I. M., Atta, H. A. E., Shahrani, T. A., & Mohamed, A. I. (2011). Effects of seed pre-treatment and seed source on germination of five Acacia spp. African Journal of Biotechnology, 10(71), 15901-15910.

Arunraj, R., Skori, L., Kumar, A., Hickerson, N. M., Shoma, N., & Samuel, M. A. (2020). Spatial regulation of alpha-galactosidase activity and its influence on raffinose family oligosaccharides during seed maturation and germination in Cicer arietinum. Plant Signaling & Behavior, 1709707.

Assogbadjo, A. E., Kakaï, R. G., Edon, S., Kyndt, T., & Sinsin, B. (2011). Natural variation in fruit characteristics, seed germination and seedling growth of Adansonia digitata L. in Benin. New Forests, 41(1), 113-125.

Aubréville, A. (1948). Etude sur les forêts de l'Afrique Equatoriale française et du Cameroun. Nogent-sur-Marne: IRAT, 131 p.

Ayuk, E. T., Duguma, B., Franzel, S., Kengue, J., Mollet, M., Tiki-Manga, T., & Zenkeng, P. (1999). Uses, management and economic potential of Garcinia kola and Ricinodendron heudeloth in the humid lowlands of Cameroon. Journal of Tropical Forest Science, 11, 746-761.

Baraloto, C., & Forget, P. M. (2007). Seed size, seedling morphology, and response to deep shade and damage in neotropical rain forest trees. American Journal of Botany, 94(6), 901-911.

Baskin, C. C., & Baskin, J. M. (2014). Germination ecology of seeds with physical dormancy. Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography, and Evolution of dormancy and germination. San Diego: Elsevier Sciences, 145-185.

Baskin, J. M., & Baskin, C. C. (2019). How much influence does the paternal parent have on seed germination? Seed Science Research, 29(1), 1-11.

Bewley, J. & Black, M. (1994). Seeds: physiology of development and germination. 2nd. New York: Edition Plenum Press.

Bischoff, A., & Müller‐Schärer, H. (2010). Testing population differentiation in plant species–how important are environmental maternal effects. Oikos, 119(3), 445-454.

Bischoff, A., Steinger, T., & Müller‐Schärer, H. (2010). The importance of plant provenance and genotypic diversity of seed material used for ecological restoration. Restoration ecology, 18(3), 338-348.

Boko-haya, Y. Y., Ouinsavi, A. I. N., Houngbeme, G. A., Gbaguidi, F. & Agbangla, C. (2017). Traditional uses, phytochemistry and in vitro evaluation of toxicity of Ricinodendron heudelotii (Baill Pierre Ex Heckel) leaves in Benin. International Journal of Recent Scientific Research, 8, 21227–21236.

Boulvert, Y. (1996). Geomorphological study of the Central African Republic. 1/1000000 map in two sheets West and East. Paris: ORSTOM.

Breed, M. F., Stead, M. G., Ottewell, K. M., Gardner, M. G., & Lowe, A. J. (2013). Which provenance and where? Seed sourcing strategies for revegetation in a changing environment. Conservation Genetics, 14(1), 1-10.

Brooks, M. E., Kristensen, K., van Benthem, K. J., Magnusson, A., Berg, C. W., Nielsen, A., ... & Bolker, B. M. (2017). glmmTMB balances speed and flexibility among packages for zero-inflated generalised linear mixed modeling. The R Journal, 9(2), 378-400.

Busson, F. (1965). Food plants of West Africa: botanical, biological and chemical study, with the technical collaboration of P. Jaeger, P. Lunven and M. Pinta. The Leconte Printing House.

Campos Filho E. M. & Sartorelli PAR (2015). Guide to the identification of key species for forest restoration in the region of Alto Teles Pires - Mato Grosso. São Paulo: The Nature Conservancy, 248.

Choi G.E., Jin Jeong M., Lee H., Ko C.D., Park J.I., Ghimire, B. (2017) Choi, G. E., jin Jeong, M., Lee, H., Ko, C. D., Park, J. I., & Ghimire, B. (2017). Morphological Characteristics of Endocarp in Relation to Seed Dormancy of 18 Rubus Species in Korea. Agricultural Life Science Research, 51(6), 15-22.

Côme, D. (1968). Problems of terminology posed by germination and its obstacles. French Plant Physiology Society Newsletter, 14, 3–9.

Cosyns, H., Degrande, A., De Wulf, R., Van Damme, P. & Tchoundjeu, Z. (2011). Ricinodendron heudelotii (Bail) kernel group commercialisation and its impact on farmers’ livelihoods in Cameroon. Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Tropics and Subtropics, 112, 45-56.

Cruz, A., Pérez, B., Velasco, A., & Moreno, J. M. (2003). Variability in seed germination at the interpopulation, intrapopulation and intraindividual levels of the shrub Erica australis in response to fire-related cues. Plant Ecology, 169(1), 93-103.

Debroux, L., Mbolo, M., Delvingt, W., & Amougou, A. (1998). Régénération du Moabi et du Mukulungu au Cameroun. Prospectives pour l'aménagement. Bois & Forets Des Tropiques, 255, 5-17.

Dibong, S. D., Ottou, P. B. M., Vandi, D., Ndjib, R. C., Tchamaha, F. M., & Mpondo, E. M. (2015). Ethnobotany of anti-hemorrhoidal plants in markets and villages in the central and littoral regions of Cameroon. Journal of Applied Biosciences, 96, 9072-9093.

Diouf, M., Samba, S. A. N., Ndoye, O., & Van Damme, P. (2015). Difference in germination rate of Baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) provenances contrasting in their seed morphometrics when pretreated with concentrated sulfuric acid. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 10(12), 1412-1420.

Djeugap, F. J., Bernier, L., Dostaler, D., Fontem, D. A., & Avana, M. L. (2014). Germination constraints on Ricinodendron heudelotii in Cameroon. Seed Technology, 61-72.

Événari, M. (1957). The physiological problems of germination. French Plant Physiology Society Newsletter, 3, 105–124.

FAO. (2016). Living and Feeding on the Forest in Central Africa. Rome, Italy: FAO.

Finkelstein, R., Reeves, W., Ariizumi, T. & Steber C. (2008). Molecular aspects of seed dormancy. Annual Review of Plant Biology, 59, 387-415.

Fredrick, C., Muthuri, C., Ngamau, K., & Sinclair, F. (2015). Provenance variation in seed morphological characteristics, germination and early seedling growth of Faidherbia albida. Journal of Horticulture and Forestry, 7(5), 127-140.

Fredrick, C., Muthuri, C., Ngamau, K., & Sinclair, F. (2017). Provenance and pre-treatment effect on seed germination of six provenances of Faidherbia albida (Delile) A. Chev. Agroforestry Systems, 91(6), 1007-1017.

Ginwal, H. S., Rawat, P. S., & Srivastava, R. L. (2004). Seed source variation in growth performance and oil yield of Jatropha curcas Linn. in central India. Silvae genetica, 53(1-6), 186-192.

Harper, J. L. (1977). Population biology of plants. London: Academic Press.

Harrison, P. A., Bailey, G., Vaillancourt, R. E., & Potts, B. M. (2014). Provenance and seed mass determine the seed germination success of Eucalyptus ovata (Myrtaceae). Seed Science and Technology, 42(3), 466-472.

Heim, F., Guarrigue, E. & Husson, M. (1919). A new oilseed from Madagascar. The ''Betratra''. Newsletter of General Colonies Agency, 12, 679–691.

Hossain, M. A., Islam, K. S., Rajasree, N., Hossain, M. K., & Alam, M. S. (2018). Pre-sowing treatments for improved germination and growth of two rare native species of Bangladesh. Journal of Forestry Research, 29(5), 1277-1282.

Humara, J. M., Lopez, M., Casares, A., & Majada, J. (2000). Temperature and provenance as two factors affecting Eucalyptus nitens seed germination. Forestry, 73(1), 87-90.

Imchen, C., Sen, S., Kumar, H., & Marak, J. K. (2015). Effect of Different Pre-treatment Method on Seed Germination of Gulmohar (Delonix regia). Trends in Biosciences, 8, 5105–5110.

ISTA. (2005). International rules for seed testing, 1st edn. Bassersdorf: The International Seed Testing Association, pp 1–84.

Kapseu, C., & Tchiegang, C. (1995). Chemical properties of Ricinodendron heudelotii (Bail.) seed oil. Journal of Food Lipids, 2(2), 87-98.

Katende, A. B., Birnie, A. & Tengnas, B. O. (1995). Useful trees and shrubs for Uganda. Identification, propagation and management for agricultural and pastoral communities. Regional Soil Conservation Unit (RSCU), Swedish International Development Authority (SIDA).

Keller, M., & Kollmann, J. (1999). Effects of seed provenance on germination of herbs for agricultural compensation sites. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 72(1), 87-99.

Kheloufi, A., & Mansouri, L. M. (2017). Effect of sulphuric acid on the germination of a forage tree Acacia nilotica (L.) subsp tomentosa. Livestock Research for Rural Development, 29(2).

Kim, W., Lee, Y., Park, J., Lee, N., & Choi, G. (2013). HONSU, a protein phosphatase 2C, regulates seed dormancy by inhibiting ABA signaling in Arabidopsis. Plant and Cell Physiology, 54(4), 555-572.

Kitajima, K. & Myers, J. A. (2008). Seedling ecophysiology; strategies toward achievement of positive net carbon balance. In Leck, M. A., Parker, V. T., & Simpson, R. L. (eds), Seedling Ecology and Evolution (pp. 172-188). Cambridge University Press

Kitajima, K. (1994). Relative importance of photosynthetic traits and allocation patterns as correlates of seedling shade tolerance of 13 tropical trees. Oecologia, 98(3-4), 419-428.

Kong, D., Ju, C., Parihar, A., Kim, S., Cho, D., & Kwak, J. M. (2015). Arabidopsis glutamate receptor homolog3. 5 modulates cytosolic Ca2+ level to counteract effect of abscisic acid in seed germination. Plant Physiology, 167(4), 1630-1642.

Kouame, N., Soro, K., Mangara, A., Diarrassouba, N., Koulibaly, A., & Boraud, N. (2015). Physico-chemical study of seven (7) spontaneous food plants from the central-western part of Côte d'Ivoire. Journal of Applied Biosciences, 90, 8450.

Kumar, S., Radhamani, J., Singh, A. K., & Varaprasad, K. S. (2007). Germination and seed storage behaviour in Pongamia pinnata L. Current Science, 93(7), 910-911.

Ky-Dembele, C., Tigabu, M., Bayala, J., & Odén, P. C. (2014). Inter-and intra-provenances variations in seed size and seedling characteristics of Khaya senegalensis A. Juss in Burkina Faso. Agroforestry Systems, 88(2), 311-320.

Lagou, S. M. L., Bi, F. H. T., Yao, K., Bakayoko, A., & Kone, M. W. (2016). Fistules obstétricales dans le district d’Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire: niveau de connaissance et plantes utilisées traditionnellement dans le traitement. International Journal of Biological and Chemical Sciences, 10(3), 1273-1285.

Leakey, R. R., & Tomich, T. P. (1999). Domestication of tropical trees: from biology to economics and policy. Agroforestry in Sustainable Agricultural Systems, 319-338.

Lee, H. G., Lee, K., & Seo, P. J. (2015). The Arabidopsis MYB96 transcription factor plays a role in seed dormancy. Plant Molecular Biology, 87(4-5), 371-381.

Liu, X., Xu, D., Yang, Z., & Zhang, N. (2017). Geographic variations in seed germination of Dalbergia odorifera T. Chen in response to temperature. Industrial Crops and Products, 102, 45-50

Mapongmetsem, P. M., Duguma, B., Nkongmeneck, B. A., & Selegny, E. (1999). The effect of various seed pre-treatments to improve germination in eight indigenous tree species in the forests of Cameroon. Annals of Forest Science, 56(8), 679-684.

Marie-Thérèse, K. N. D., Modeste, G. G., & Ali, M. A. N. G. A. R. A. (2012). Essais de germination de Ricinodendron heudelotii (Euphorbiaceae) dans la région du Fromager au centre-ouest de la Côte d’Ivoire. Journal of Applied Biosciences, 56, 4133-4141.

Mira, S., González-Benito, M. E., Ibars, A. M., & Estrelles, E. (2011). Dormancy release and seed ageing in the endangered species Silene diclinis. Biodiversity and Conservation, 20(2), 345-358.

Moya, R. S., Meza, S. E., Díaz, C. M., Ariza, A. C., Calderón, S. D., & Peña-Rojas, K. (2017). Variability in seed germination and seedling growth at the intra-and inter-provenance levels of Nothofagus glauca (Lophozonia glauca), an endemic species of Central Chile. New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science, 47(1), 10.

N’guessan, K., Konan, E. K., & Tiébré, M. S. (2009). Plantes utilisées dans le traitement des troubles gynéco-obstétriques par les peuples Abbey et Krobou d’Agboville (Côte-d’Ivoire). Phytothérapie, 7(5), 262.

N’guessan, K., Zirihi, N. G. & Boraud, N. (2011). Ethnopharmacological study of plants used to facilitate childbirth in Abbey and Krobou country, southern Côte d’Ivoire. International Journal of Biological and Chemical Sciences, 4, 1004–1016.

Ngene, J. P., Ngoule, C. C., Kidik Pouka, C. M., Mvogo Ottou, P. B., Ndjib, R. C., Dibong, S. D., & Mpondo Mpondo, E. (2015). Importance in the traditional pharmacopoeia of flavonoid plants sold in the markets of Douala Est (Cameroon). Journal of Applied Biosciences, 88, 8194-8210.

Nole, T., Lionel, T. D. W., Cedrix, T. F. S., & Gabriel, A. A. (2016). Ethnomedical and ethnopharmacological study of plants used for potential treatments of diabetes and arterial hypertension by indigenous people in three phytogeographic regions of Cameroon. Diabetes Case Rep, 1(110), 2.

Ojo, M. O., & Ezekiel, A. (2019). Effect of Provenance Variations on the Growth and Development of Terminalia ivorensis (A Chev). Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, 37, 1-7.

Pasonen, H. L., Pulkkinen, P., & Käpylä, M. (2001). Do pollen donors with fastest‐growing pollen tubes sire the best offspring in an anemophilous tree, Betula pendula (Betulaceae)? American Journal of Botany, 88(5), 854-860.

Penfield, S. (2017). Seed dormancy and germination. Current Biology, 27(17), R874-R878.

Pérez-García F., Varela F., & González-Benito M.E. (2012). Morphological and germination response variability in seeds of wild Bellow gentian (Gentiana lutea L.) accessions from northwest Spain. Botany, 90, 731–742.

Pérez-García, F., & González-Benito, M. E. (2010, August). Intrapopulation variation in seed germination of six rockrose (Cistus L.) species. In XXVIII International Horticultural Congress on Science and Horticulture for People (IHC2010): International Symposium on 937 (pp. 379-384).

Pinheiro, J., Bates, D., DebRoy, S., Sarkar, D., & Team, R. C. (2017). nlme: Linear and nonlinear mixed effects models. R Package Version, 3(1), 111.

Podda, L., Santo, A., Mattana, E., Mayoral, O., & Bacchetta, G. (2018). Inter‐and intra‐variability of seed germination traits of Carpobrotus edulis NE Br. and its hybrid C. affine acinaciformis. Plant Biology, 20(6), 1059-1067.

R Core Team. (2019). R: A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna, Austria: R Foundation for Statistical Computing.

Roach, D. A. & Wulff, R. D. (1987). Maternal effects in plants. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 18, 209–235.

Saki, S. J., Mosso, K., Sea, T. B. & Diopoh, K. J. (2005). Determination of some essential components of Akpi almonds (Ricinodendron heudelotii) in the Ivory Coast. African Agronomy, 17, 137–142.

Santo, A., Mattana, E., & Bacchetta, G. (2015). Inter-and intra-specific variability in seed dormancy loss and germination requirements in the Lavatera triloba aggregate (Malvaceae). Plant Ecology and Evolution, 148(1), 100-110.

Shu, K., Liu, X. D., Xie, Q., & He, Z. H. (2016). Two faces of one seed: hormonal regulation of dormancy and germination. Molecular Plant, 9(1), 34-45.

Shu, K., Zhang, H., Wang, S., Chen, M., Wu, Y., Tang, S., ... & Xie, Q. (2013). ABI4 regulates primary seed dormancy by regulating the biogenesis of abscisic acid and gibberellins in Arabidopsis. PLoS Genet, 9(6), e1003577.

Sokpon, N. (1995). Natural regeneration in gaps of the Pobe semi-deciduous forest, south-east Benin. Belgian Journal of Botany, 128(1), 13–32.

Sudrajat, D. J., Nurhasybi, N., Siregar, I. Z., Siregar, U. J., Mansur, I., & Khumaida, N. (2016). Intraspecific variation on early growth of Neolamarckia cadamba Miq. in provenance-progeny tests in West Java Province, Indonesia. BIOTROPIA-The Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Biology, 23(1), 10-20.

Tabuna, H. (1999). The Central African non-timber forest products market in France and Belgium. Occasional paper, (19).

Tchiegang, C., Dandjouma, A. A., Kapseu, C., & Parmentier, M. (2003). Study of the conditions of oil extraction by pressing the almonds of Ricinodendron heudelotii (Baill.) Pierre ex Pax. Journal of Food Engineering, 58, 363–371.

Tchiegang, C., Kapseu, C., Ndjouenkeu, R., & Ngassoum, M. B. (1997). Amandes de Ricinodendron heudelotii (Bail.): matière première potentielle pour les industries agro-alimentaires tropicales. Journal of Food Engineering, 32(1), 1-10.

Van Zandt, P. & Mopper, S. (2004). The effects of maternal salinity and seed environment on germination and growth of Iris hexagona. Evolutionary Ecology Research, 6, 813–832.

Venier, P., Ferreras, A. E., Verga, A., & Funes, G. (2015). Germination traits of Prosopis alba from different provenances. Seed Science and Technology, 43(3), 548-553.

Vivien, J. & Faure, J. J. (1985). Trees of the dense forests of Central Africa. Paris (France): Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation.

Vivien, J. & Faure, J. J. (1996). Wild fruit trees of Africa: species from Cameroon. Ministry of Cooperation: Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation.

Ye, X., Li, L., Baskin, C. C., Baskin, J. M., Du, J., & Huang, Z. (2019). Sand burial helps regulate timing of seed germination of a dominant herb in an inland dune ecosystem with a semiarid temperate climate. Science of The Total Environment, 680, 44-50.

6 February, 2021
How to Cite
Boko-Haya, Y., Ouinsavi, C., Ewédjè, E.-E., Akin, Y., Zinkpe, T., & Agbangla, C. (2021). Variability of Seed Germination and Seedling Growth Potential of Ricinodendron heudelotii (Euphorbiaceae) at Fine Scale in Southern of Benin. East African Journal of Forestry and Agroforestry, 3(1), 1-17.