Projection of V. doniana trees regarding morphological traits in the system defined by the two canonical functions. Function 1 and 2 represent respectively 85.5 and 14.5 % of the total variance of 23 descriptors on 102 individuals. Symbols correspond to trees from each climatic zone of Benin (Circles Sudanian trees, Lozenges Sudano-Guinean trees, Crosses Guinean trees, Squares centroid of each group)

Projection of V. doniana trees regarding morphological traits in the system defined by the two canonical functions. Function 1 and 2 represent respectively 85.5 and 14.5 % of the total variance of 23 descriptors on 102 individuals. Symbols correspond to trees from each climatic zone of Benin (Circles Sudanian trees, Lozenges Sudano-Guinean trees, Crosses Guinean trees, Squares centroid of each group)

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There are evidences that plant morphology is shaped by genotype, but local environment mainly climate influences morphology as well. In this study the morphological variability of Vitex doniana, a multipurpose tree species was characterised in relation with climatic parameters in order to provide insights to the species possible responses to future...

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... The selection of 'elite' G. gummi-gutta trees was conducted by ranking the 35 CPTs based on commercial perspectives, as has been done for Garcinia mangostana (Syahputra et al., 2021), Mauritia flexuosa (Dos Santos Dias et al., 2017), Vitex doniana (Hounkpèvi et al., 2016), and for traits like pulp mass (Buchmann et al., 2010) and commercialization value (Tchoundjeu et al., 2008). Seasonal fruit mass analysis in the present study revealed that the number of fruits per 1 kg, mean fruit mass and dry rind mass were four times greater in Gar 6 than in Gar 3 and, 40fold greater that the average of the 180 trees (Table 1). ...
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... This could explain the absence of morphological diversity between E. sepium individuals from the two climatic zones. Opposite results were reported in Anogeissus leiocarpa (Ouédraogo et al., 2013), Vitex doniana Sw. (Hounkpèvi et al., 2016), Tamarindus indica LINN. (Okello et al., 2018), Afzelia africana Sm. (Houehanou et al., 2019), Moringa oleifera Lam. ...
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... 19 Vitex is the only genus of this subfamily present in Africa. V. doniana is named "black plum," "West African plum," or "African oak." [20][21][22] V. doniana is extremely widespread in tropical areas and is generally found in dry and wet lowlands. 22 The young leaves are harvested as leafy vegetables and used in home cooking and for sale. ...
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... So far, several studies have been carried out to reveal the morphological variation within WEFT across Africa (e.g. Leakey et al. 2000Leakey et al. , 2005aAbasse et al. 2011;Hounkpèvi et al. 2016;Padonou et al. 2017). Most of these studies have documented a continuous variation between and within studied populations for the investigated traits and have highlighted the potential to derive improved ideotypes from wild populations for the domestication purposes (Gouwakinnou et al. 2011). ...
... Although, domestication does not necessarily assure conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, it has been shown that at least, while there is a substantial wild resource, domestication can increase intraspecific diversity (Leakey et al. 2004). In addition to providing important knowledge to sustainably manage useful plant species, studies of morphological variability can add insights into the adaptation capacity of the species in facing effects of unpredictable hazards like climate change (Hounkpèvi et al. 2016). ...
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... Several previous work have also indicated that geographic provenance and climatic factors are responsible for the variation in morphological characters of many tropical trees species (Dadègnon et al. 2015;Mkwezalamba et al. 2015;Agbo et al. 2018). This is the case of Adansonia digitata (Cuni Sanchez et al. 2011), Chrysophyllum albidum (Dadegnon et al. 2015), Vitex doniana (Hounkpevi et al. 2016) and Afzelia africana (Houehanou et al. 2019). Hence, varying environments in the phytogeographic zones of Benin hosting C. millenii, such as soil (Agbo et al. 2018), climate (Okello et al. 2018) and habitat (Dadjo et al. 2018;Okello et al. 2018) are likely to induce morphological variation in C. millenii. ...
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... Previous studies in species such as rice and Sarracenia purpurea (pitcher plant) have investigated the spatial patterns of morphological trait variation along geographical gradients, and showed that the geographical patterns are shaped by edaphic and climatic factors [50,51]. Morphological variations are well documented in many plant species such as Afzelia africana (African mahogany) and black plum, which are affected by climatic conditions [52][53][54]. Fruits and leaflets of A. africana show significant morphological variation under different climatic conditions [52]. Bejiga et al. (1996) discovered that climatic factors are significantly correlated with seed weight [55]. ...
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Background: Geographical variation in morphological traits may reflect evolutionary patterns of morphological adaptability along environmental gradients. Comprehensive information on longitudinal patterns of morphological trait variation is very meaningful to explore morphological diversity and evolutionary trends in widespread bermudagrass. Methods: To explore the spatial patterns of morphological traits, we investigated 10 morphological traits of bermudagrass and 10 soil nutrient indexes and collected local climate data for 13 different regions from 119°E to 105°E along the latitude 34°N. Results: Considerable variations in morphological traits were observed at different longitudes, and the variations in most of the evaluated traits within populations were lower than those among populations. All of the 13 different longitudinal sites were divided into three groups based on morphological traits by cluster analysis. The major sources of diversity at the different longitudes were leaf length of the erect shoot, leaf width of the erect shoot, and the internode lengths of the erect shoot and stolon as determined by principal component analysis. Pearson correlation analysis also indicated that longitude was significantly and negatively correlated with these traits as well. Mean average rainfall was significantly correlated with leaf length of the erect shoot and the internode lengths of the erect shoot and stolon, while mean average temperature was only significantly correlated with internode length of the erect shoots. Available sulfur was significantly correlated with internode length of the erect shoot, plant height, and reproductive branch height, while the exchangeable Ca was significantly correlated with internode lengths of the erect shoot and stolon. Soil pH was significantly correlated with the internode length of the stolon. Longitude is an important factor that affects morphological trait variation in wild bermudagrass, and the leaves of the erect shoot and the internode length enlarged significantly with the collection sites moving from east to west. Conclusion: Different combinations and interactions of environmental factors (soil and climate) along a longitudinal gradient may have strong effects on one or more morphological traits of bermudagrass.
... Plant morphology is well known to be under the synergetic control of genotype and environment (Guerin et al. 2012). An important implication is that the pattern of this morphological variability is a useful tool for understanding the resilience potential of plant resources to environmental hazards, such as climate change (Hounkpèvi et al. 2016), in order to secure conservation and domestication efforts. ...
... This supports the strong control of bioclimatic parameters on the among climatic zones variability of discriminant morphological descriptors. However, since topography and soil properties (type, moisture, nutrient content) varied across climatic zones of Benin (Adomou et al. 2006) and are also potential sources of phenotypic diversity (Hounkpèvi et al. 2016;Wang et al. 2020), their impact on A. senegalensis shrubs might also be important. Further investigations are required in order to disentangle the role of climate and soil in the morphological diversity of the species. ...
... The phenotypic diversity was also greatly determined by the maximum temperature of the warmest month for which high values in the Sudanian zone was associated to good performance in terms of seeds weight/fruit weight ratio. The positive relationships between rainfall and morphological traits in A. senegalensis were also reported for other species including Vitex doniana Sweet (Hounkpèvi et al. 2016) and Adansonia digitata L. (Assogbadjo et al. 2005) in the same study area, and by Maranz & Wiesman (2003) on Vitellaria paradoxa C.F.Gaertn. in Mali and Burkina-Faso. On the contrary, other studies, (e.g., Abasse et al. 2011) found a negative relationship between rainfall and fruit size for Balanites aegytiaca Delile in Niger where larger fruit size was found in drier conditions. ...
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Background and aims-Geographic patterns of phenotypic variability can inform understanding of the resilience potential of plant species to environmental hazards such as climate change. Such understanding provides support for conservation and domestication efforts. Here, we investigated natural morphological variation of the individuals, fruits, seeds, and leaves of the tropical shrub Annona senegalensis Pers. along a climatic gradient. Methods-Morphological data were collected on shrubs, fruits, seeds, and leaves of 150 shrubs from five populations in the three climatic zones of Benin. Linear mixed effects models were used to test the variability of the morphological traits of the species and also to estimate the variance components in order to tease apart the importance of each source of variation. The most important morphological descriptors discriminating climatic zones were identified using a stepwise discriminant analysis. Redundancy analysis was then used to determine the relationships between discriminant morphological traits and bioclimatic variables. Key results-Morphological traits of A. senegalensis varied greatly both within and among climatic zones. A substantial part (42%) of the among-climatic zones phenotypic variability in the species was attributable to climate, mainly rainfall and temperature. Morphological traits such as big shrubs, big fruits, and high number of seeds per fruit were associated with high mean annual rainfall and low mean temperature of the warmest quarter. Conclusions-The findings suggest an important zonal adaptation of the species to climate variability. The phenotypic diversity pattern that we highlighted can be useful when designing conservation policies for the species. However, quantitative genetics through common garden or reciprocal transplantation experiments related to the species' populations would enable to explore the heritable part of the observed variability to support effective conservation and domestication efforts.
... However, scientists need to carefully interpret the variation of both morphological characters and molecular markers since it does not necessarily mean taxonomic diversity. Geographic variations in reproductive or vegetative traits can be observed within a single species (e.g., Assogbadjo et al. 2006;Padonou et al. 2015;Hounkpèvi et al. 2016). Consequently, morphological diversity in a given taxon might result from local adaptation (i.e., genetic differentiation driven by selection) or phenotypic plasticity (i.e., differentiation induced by environmental differences without genetic differentiation) without implying reproductive isolation. ...
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In the pantropical mimosoid legume genus Parkia, taxonomic classification has remained controversial in Africa due to clinal phenotypic variations. Three species (P. biglobosa, P. bicolor, and P. filicoidea) are currently recognized, ranging from West to East Africa, with partially overlapping ranges across different floristic regions. However, additional taxa (species or varieties) have been suggested by different authors. To assess species boundaries of African Parkia and phylogeographic patterns within species, we genotyped 889 individuals using 10 microsatellite markers and compared our results with existing morphological descriptions. Bayesian genetic clustering confirmed the species boundaries assessed from morphological traits and did not reveal introgression but identified genetic discontinuities within each species. Six moderately differentiated genetic clusters were recovered in P. biglobosa (pairwise FST: 0.05–0.19), while P. bicolor and P. filicoidea, each, displayed four well-differentiated clusters (FST: 0.18–0.41 and 0.11–0.34, respectively). Within each species, genetic clusters occurred in parapatry. Parkia biglobosa clusters were congruent with the longitudinal clinal variation in leaflets sizes but 26% of individuals presented admixed genotypes. Genetic clusters in P. bicolor and P. filicoidea followed environmental gradients as well as phytogeographic subdivisions. They were also largely congruent with morphological discontinuities described in previous taxonomic studies and < 10% individuals showed admixed genotypes. We conclude that only one species (P. biglobosa) should be considered in the Guineo-Sudanian savanna. However, P. bicolor and P. filicoidea might each represent a complex of (sub)species. Thus, the hypotheses of cryptic species within P. bicolor and P. filicoidea should be further investigated by testing reproductive barriers.