Study of the effect of irrigation on the growth of carob plants in eastern Morocco: planting with seedlings a year

  • Eaux et Forets
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Carob, Ceratonia siliqua L., is a typical Mediterranean forest tree. In Morocco, it is used as protection against soil erosion and animals eat its fruit. The objective is to study the effect of irrigation on the survival and growth of seedlings of carob. Two water regimes (irrigation and water stress) were evaluated with 42 plants for over four periods: just after planting, then at the end of each year for three consecutive years. The study shows that the additional water supply resulted in survival rates (after a year of growth) higher than for the situation under water stress, but these differences are not statistically significant, at least until the end of the third year after planting. These survival rates were 88% in irrigated against 76% under water stress. In contrast, the study shows that irrigation has a significant effect, P-value between 1 % and 3 %, on the growth of seedlings of carob, namely their height. Initially, there was no significant difference between the two treatments, but this difference arose and becomes significant at the end of the first year and will continued over the next two years. The mean difference (irrigated-dry) increased by 7 cm at the end of the first year, 15 cm at the end of the second year to 19 cm at the end of the third year. It can be concluded that the addition of extra water has no significant effect on the survival rate, but it has a clearly significant effect on plant growth (height). Therefore, irrigation during the first two years twice a month would be highly recommended for better growth of the carob tree.

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... This diversity of mycorrhizal fungi present naturally in soils carob tree can be selected and used in reforestation, restoration of degraded ecosystems and even improving the vigor of carob tree nursery. For the latter, these results of mycorrhization obtained in different regions of Morocco, enable to farmers and forest managers to expand without difficulty planting in this country, where it was recently reported the success rate, of the carob tree planting has exceeded 86% 18,19 . ...
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The presence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in the rhizosphere of Ceratonia siliqua was studied in five provinces in Morocco: Taroudant, Khenifra Azilal, Nador and Beni Mellal. These regions contain large populations of carob. The microscopic examination of the carob tree roots has revealed the presence of the arbuscular endomycorrhizae in the all samples. The mycorrhizal frequency is greater than 90% in all study sites and the highest mycorrhizal intensity was observed in Zaio site (21%). Spores's number of MAF isolated from different soils is between 84 and 160 spores/100g of soil. These spores present 30 AMF species belonging to six genera: Glomus (15 species), Acaulospora (7 species), Scutellospora (4 species), Gigaspora (2 species), Entrophospora (1 species) and Pacispora (1 species). The species, Glomus etunicatum, is the most abundant, its frequency of occurrence is about 12% of all AMF isolated. INTRODUCTION The carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua L.), typically mediterranean species, is an agro-forestry-pastoral tree 5,24 with enormous socioeconomic and ecological interests and multiple uses (livestock feed, pharmaceuticals, ornamental and soil protection) 3. It presents essential characteristics (plasticity, hardiness and drought resistance) 21 and develops different morphological, physiological and biochemical adaptation strategy against different degrees of drought stress 54. Carob tree settled favorably in coastal areas, arid and semi-arid 6,51 but it remains poorly studied 37 and very neglected in reforestation programs 21 because the success rate of plantations in forest areas are all resulted in significant failures 31. To overcome this failure observed after transplantation, the use, at nurseries, of the functional inoculum based of endomycorrhizal fungi at vesicular and arbuscular is now possible to produce vigorous mycorrhizal plants. These plants can withstand different types of stress they will face after transplantation 46. The Mycorrhization of Ceratonia siliqua is an interesting method to explore for the restoration of the sclerophyllous forests whose; the original medium has difficult conditions for the reimplantation of a plant canopy. As a first step to achieve this objective, it is necessary to study the diversity of endomycorrhizal fungi in the rhizosphere of the carob tree which are developed in different regions of Morocco MATERIALS AND METHODS Site selection and sampling In order to cover the principal populations of the carob tree in Morocco, surveys were conducted in five regions (Taroudant, Khenifra Azilal, Nador and Beni Mellal) distributed from East to South West of Morocco. Selected sites cover the principal structural formations, Middle Atlas, Eastern Rif and Western Anti-Atlas (Fig. 1) that supply annually the major markets of the carob fruit. In each region, five sites were selected for sampling soil in the rhizosphere of the carob tree. The soil samples were randomly taken
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Bu çalışmada tohum ekimi ve çöğür dikimlerinin farklı zamanlarda yapılmasının çöğür yaşama oranı ve gelişimine etkisinin ortaya konması amaçlanmıştır. Bu kapsamda, tohum ekimi ve çöğür dikimleri kasım, aralık ve ocak olmak üzere 3 farklı ay olarak planlanmıştır. Tohumlara ekimden önce kontrol dışında iki farklı ön işlem (30 dk asit ve 30 dk asit + 1 gün suda bekletme) uygulanmıştır. Tohumla ilgili çalışmada, çimlenme oranı, süresi ve enerjisi uygulama ve aylara göre saptanmıştır. Daha sonraki aşamada, ekim ve dikim yolu ile elde edilen çöğürlerde yaşama oranı belirlenmiştir. Yaşayan çöğürlerde 2 yıl süresince 3 ay aralıklarla çöğür çap ve boy ölçümleri yapılmıştır. Tohumla ilgili olarak yürütülen çalışmalarda çimlenme oranı, çimlenme enerjisi ve çimlenme süresi açısından en uygun ay ocak olarak belirlenmiştir. Çimlenme oranı, çimlenme enerjisi ve süresi bakımından her iki ön işlem uygulaması kontrole göre daha başarılı sonuç vermiştir. En yüksek yaşama oranı %56.67 ile ocak ayında 30 dk. asit uygulamasından gelişen çöğürlerde ve en düşük yaşama oranı ise %6.67 ile kasım ayının kontrol uygulamasından gelişen çöğürlerde kaydedilmiştir. Dikim yolu ile elde edilen çöğürlerde en yüksek yaşama oranı %93.64 ile ocak ayında dikilen çöğürlerde saptanmıştır. Araştırma sonuçları, tohum ekimi ve çöğür dikimi için en uygun zaman ocak ayı olduğunu ve tohumlara ekimden önce mutlaka ön işlem uygulamasının gerekli olduğu göstermiştir.
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There are no studies on the effects that some pre-treatment of carob (Ceratonia siliqua L.) seed germination has without irrigation in marginal areas. The objective of the study was to evaluate the effects of some pre-treatment (control, soaked with sulfuric acid for 30 minutes and sulfuric acid for 30 minutes followed by a 24 hour soak in water) and two sowing times, (November and January) on germination of seeds, germination of energy, mean germination time and seedling survival in two different land types (light and heavy rocky texture). While seeding time and land types had no effect statistically on seed germination the treatments did have. The germination rate was lowest on control with 7.78% and highest with 34.71% on 30 minutes acid treated followed by 24 h water soak. The highest germination energy was determined in pre-treated seeds on land with a light rocky texture. The shortest germination time was determined in pre-treated seeds with soil of a light rocky texture. The results showed that pre-treatment is necessary before sowing of seeds. Sowing of seeds was done after the first rains and irrigation should be applied to maintain healthy seedlings during the summer.
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Key message Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis strengthened the mechanisms developed by carob to withstand drought stress, including improved water relations, increased cell wall rigidity and osmolytes accumulation, and enhanced oxidative stress alleviation. Abstract The present investigation was carried out to provide more insight into the influence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Funneliformis mosseae, Rhizophagus fasciculatus, and Rhizophagus intraradices) on drought tolerance of carob. Non-mycorrhizal (NM) and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) carob plants were subjected to two watering regimes, 75% of field capacity (well water) or 25% of field capacity (water stress). Obtained results showed that stressed AM plants exhibited increased performance in terms of growth and biomass production, water and nutrient acquisition, and oxidative stress alleviation compared to NM plants. In fact, under limited water regime, AM plants maintained high stomatal conductance and high relative water content (over 94%) due to their high water and nutrient uptake efficiency. Moreover, AM plants especially those associated with F. mosseae maintained high membrane integrity (over 80%), high cell wall rigidity, and high leaf water potential and osmotic potential at full turgor and at turgor loss, while these parameters steeply decreased in NM plants. Furthermore, drought-stressed AM plants showed decreased hydrogen peroxide and malondialdehyde contents associated with increased activities of superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase, guaiacol peroxidase, and catalase compared to their relative NM plants. Thus, AMF strengthened the mechanisms involved in drought tolerance of carob by improving water relations, increasing cell wall rigidity, and enhancing oxidative stress alleviation. Funneliformis mosseae was the most effective in improving carob tolerance to drought stress.
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The present distribution of the carob-tree (Ceratonia siliqua L.) throughout the coastal regions of the Mediterranean, the route followed from its possible place of origin in southern Arabia and the Horn of Africa, and the possible circumstances of the tree's domestication are discussed in the light of botanical, archaeological, historical and philological evidence. It is shown that the genus Ceratonia formed part of the wild flora of western Europe in preglacial times, that C. siliqua was present in ancient times in the Middle East and that its spread to the western Mediterranean area took place progressively, possibly beginning in the second millennium bc. From the fact that, except in the case of Greece and southern Italy, most of the names applied to the tree today in European languages are linked to Arabic, it is inferred that today's cultivars were probably selected by Muslims in the Middle Ages. © 2004 The Linnean Society of London, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 2004, 144, 431–436.
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Limestone quarries are spread over the Mediterranean Basin and have a strong environmental impact on the landscape, causing vegetation losses and soil losses. A reclamation project was conducted in a limestone quarry, situated in Arrábida Natural Park (southwest Portugal), that is dominated by mediterranean vegetation. Revegetation was conducted using three evergreen sclerophyllous shrub species (Ceratonia siliqua, Olea europaea, and Pistacia lentiscus), and new techniques were assayed to improve plant water status and nutrient status during the first phases after plantation. A water-holding polymer (gel), fertilizer, and mycorrhiza inoculum were applied in a factorial experiment in a randomized complete block design. The success of these techniques was evaluated during 1.5 years, through monitoring of growth and ecophysiology of plants. Plant survival was high, the lowest values (95%) being recorded in C. siliqua. There were species-specific responses to the treatments applied. Ceratonia siliqua showed the highest growth rates and was the only species with growth stimulated by fertilizer application. However, the application of fertilizer induced changes in leaf characteristics of the other two species, increasing chlorophyll and nitrogen contents. Mycorrhiza inoculum had no effect on plant response. The addition of the water-holding polymer induced higher midday plant water potentials in C. siliqua, O. europaea, and P. lentiscus, but in the latter two species the simultaneous addition of gel and fertilizer induced the lowest water potentials. The addition of fertilizer and gel is recommended in future revegetation programs but not the combination of both when revegetating with O. europaea and P. lentiscus. The results of this experiment indicate that the use of these mediterranean species, adapted to nutrient and water stress, can circumvent harsh conditions of the quarry.
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Carob-tree (Ceratonia siliqua L.) is a sclerophyllous leguminous tree species widely cultivated in whole Mediterranean basin. The fruits (a dry pod) are normally used after crushing to separate seed and pulp, and the seed endosperm is processed to obtain a mucilaginous gum, which is then used in a wide range of commercial food products as a thickener and stabilizer. Contrary to other traditional crops, there is an increasing demand for carob products, which represents a potential benefit to farmers and a diversification of farm incomes. However, current information about the ecology of this crop has not yet been integrated and so there are some doubts about the correct management of natural resources, like water and soil nutrients, in order to improve productivity. These items are particularly important in Mediterranean areas where growth and yield are mostly limited by both climatic and edaphic conditions. In this short communication, some data concerning water and nutrients use (particularly nitrogen) in carob-tree are reviewed.
The carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua) has been included in a national list of priority forest genetic resources as a target for conservation and management in Lebanon, a country bordering the eastern Mediterranean shores. To provide baseline information for the development of a conservation strategy for the species, the current status of remaining semi-natural carob populations in Lebanon was assessed through an ecogeographic survey, a bio-climatic distribution study, and a genetic analysis. Field explorations were carried out throughout the reported natural distribution range of the target taxon (≤750 m altitude) and all areas where carob was found, were mapped. Data including land use, main associated vegetation, major threats, percentage of grafted trees, and landform were recorded for each population. Climate data were interpolated as functions of geographic parameters to create maps for mean minimum temperature of the coldest month (m), mean maximum temperature of the warmest month, and annual precipitation. These were then used to calculate the pluviometric quotient (pmq) as a measure of aridity. The largest populations encountered in the study were targeted for molecular analysis. Polymorphic amplification products of RAPD were analyzed for 10–15 trees from each population. The ecogeographic survey revealed that most remaining populations are very small consisting of low numbers of individuals. Anthropomorphic activities such as coppicing, grafting and/or grazing were evident in all populations, however, it was clear that these populations were abandoned and had become part of the Mediterranean maquis vegetation. Overlays of soil maps and carob distribution data indicated that the species occurs preferentially on Terra Rossa soils, which have typically poor agricultural capability. An examination of the climatic conditions in which carob could be found showed that the distribution of carob is limited by (m) of less than 1 °C and a pmq below 60. Analysis of RAPD products indicated that the populations did not cluster based on geographic proximity and revealed a significant difference between and within populations suggesting that the remaining populations constitute a valuable germplasm. The prospects for conservation of carob in the Lebanese context are discussed.
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