Adansonia

Last updated

Adansonia
Baobab Adansonia digitata.jpg
Adansonia digitata in Tanzania
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Subfamily: Bombacoideae
Genus:Adansonia
L. [1]
Species

See Species section

Adansonia is a genus of deciduous trees known as baobabs. They are found in arid regions of Madagascar, mainland Africa, Arabia, and Australia. The generic name honours Michel Adanson, the French naturalist and explorer who described Adansonia digitata . [2]

A genus is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, as well as viruses, in biology. In the hierarchy of biological classification, genus comes above species and below family. In binomial nomenclature, the genus name forms the first part of the binomial species name for each species within the genus.

Deciduous trees or shrubs that lose their leaves seasonally

In the fields of horticulture and botany, the term deciduous (/dɪˈsɪdʒuəs/) means "falling off at maturity" and "tending to fall off", in reference to trees and shrubs that seasonally shed leaves, usually in the autumn; to the shedding of petals, after flowering; and to the shedding of ripe fruit.

Madagascar island nation off the coast of Southeast Africa, in the Indian Ocean

Madagascar, officially the Republic of Madagascar, and previously known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, approximately 400 kilometres off the coast of East Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar and numerous smaller peripheral islands. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from the Indian subcontinent around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation. Consequently, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; over 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. The island's diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the rapidly growing human population and other environmental threats.

Contents

In the early 21st century, baobabs in southern Africa began to die off rapidly from a cause yet to be determined. Scientists believe it is unlikely that disease or pests were able to kill many trees so rapidly, while some speculated that the die-off was a result of dehydration from global warming. [3] [4]

The 21st (twenty-first) century is the current century of the Anno Domini era or Common Era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. It began on January 1, 2001, and will end on December 31, 2100. It is the first century of the 3rd millennium. It is distinct from the century known as the 2000s which began on January 1, 2000 and will end on December 31, 2099.

Southern Africa southernmost region of the African continent

Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics, and including several countries. The term southern Africa or Southern Africa, generally includes Angola, Botswana, Eswatini (Swaziland), Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, though Angola may be included in Central Africa and Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe in East Africa. From a political perspective the region is said to be unipolar with South Africa as a first regional power.

Dehydration in physiology, excessive loss of body water

In physiology, dehydration is a deficit of total body water, with an accompanying disruption of metabolic processes. It occurs when free water loss exceeds free water intake, usually due to exercise, disease, or high environmental temperature. Mild dehydration can also be caused by immersion diuresis, which may increase risk of decompression sickness in divers.

Description

Baobabs reach heights of 5 to 30 m (16 to 98 ft) and have trunk diameters of 7 to 11 m (23 to 36 ft).[ citation needed ] The Glencoe baobab, a specimen of A. digitata in Limpopo Province, South Africa, was considered to be the largest living individual, with a maximum circumference of 47 m (154 ft) [5] and a diameter of about 15.9 m (52 ft). The tree has since split into two parts, so the widest individual trunk may now be that of the Sunland baobab, or Platland tree, also in South Africa. The diameter of this tree at ground level is 9.3 m (31 ft) and its circumference at breast height is 34 m (112 ft). [6]

Glencoe Baobab

Glencoe Baobab is the stoutest and second largest baobab in South Africa, and possibly the stoutest tree in the world. The tree is located in Glencoe Farm, near Hoedspruit, Limpopo Province and had a trunk diameter of 15.9 m (52 ft).

South Africa Republic in the southernmost part of Africa

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini (Swaziland); and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European (White), Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry.

Adansonia trees produce faint growth rings, probably annually, but they are not reliable for aging specimens, because they are difficult to count and may fade away as the wood ages. Radiocarbon dating has provided data on a few individuals of A. digitata. The Panke baobab in Zimbabwe was some 2,450 years old when it died in 2011, making it the oldest angiosperm ever documented, and two other trees — Dorslandboom in Namibia and Glencoe in South Africa — were estimated to be approximately 2,000 years old. [7] Another specimen known as Grootboom was dated and found to be at least 1275 years old. [6] [8] Greenhouse gases, climate change, and global warming appear to be factors reducing baobab longevity. [3]

Radiocarbon dating is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material by using the properties of radiocarbon, a radioactive isotope of carbon.

Zimbabwe republic in southern Africa

Zimbabwe, officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country located in southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers, bordered by South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique. The capital and largest city is Harare. A country of roughly 16 million people, Zimbabwe has 16 official languages, with English, Shona, and Ndebele the most commonly used.

Namibia republic in southern Africa

Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in southern Africa. Its western border is the Atlantic Ocean; it shares land borders with Zambia and Angola to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. Although it does not border Zimbabwe, less than 200 metres of the Zambezi River separates the two countries. Namibia gained independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990, following the Namibian War of Independence. Its capital and largest city is Windhoek, and it is a member state of the United Nations (UN), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU), and the Commonwealth of Nations.

Species

Of the nine species accepted as of April 2018, six are native to Madagascar, two are native to mainland Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and one is native to Australia. One of the mainland African species also occurs on Madagascar, but it is not a native of that island. It was introduced in ancient times to south Asia and during the colonial era to the Caribbean. It is also present in the island nation of Cape Verde. [9] The ninth species was described in 2012, and is found in upland populations of southern and eastern Africa. [10] The African and Australian baobabs are almost identical despite having separated more than 100 million years ago, probably by oceanic dispersal. [11]

Cape Verde Country comprising ten islands off the Northwest coast of Africa

Cape Verde or Cabo Verde, officially the Republic of Cabo Verde, is an island country spanning an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean. It forms part of the Macaronesia ecoregion, along with the Azores, Canary Islands, Madeira, and the Savage Isles. In ancient times these islands were referred to as "the Islands of the Blessed" or the "Fortunate Isles". Located 570 kilometres (350 mi) west of the Cape Verde Peninsula off the coast of Northwest Africa, the islands cover a combined area of slightly over 4,000 square kilometres (1,500 sq mi).

Oceanic dispersal is a type of biological dispersal that occurs when terrestrial organisms transfer from one land mass to another by way of a sea crossing. Often this occurs via large rafts of floating vegetation such as are sometimes seen floating down major rivers in the tropics and washing out to sea, occasionally with animals trapped on them. Dispersal via such a raft is sometimes referred to as a rafting event.

Adansonia grandidieri, Madagascar Adansonia grandidieri04.jpg
Adansonia grandidieri , Madagascar

Species include: [12]

<i>Adansonia digitata</i> species of plant

Adansonia digitata, the baobab, is the most widespread tree species of the genus Adansonia, the baobabs, and is native to the African continent. The long-lived pachycauls are typically found in dry, hot savannahs of sub-Saharan Africa, where they dominate the landscape, and reveal the presence of a watercourse from afar. Their growth rate is determined by ground water or rainfall, and their maximum age, which is subject to much conjecture, seems to be in the order of 1,500 years. They have traditionally been valued as sources of food, water, health remedies or places of shelter and are steeped in legend and superstition. European explorers of old were inclined to carve their names on baobabs, and many are defaced by modern graffiti.

Carl Linnaeus Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist

Carl Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as Carl von Linné, was a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist who formalised binomial nomenclature, the modern system of naming organisms. He is known as the "father of modern taxonomy". Many of his writings were in Latin, and his name is rendered in Latin as Carolus Linnæus.

Africa The second largest and second most-populous continent, mostly in the Northern and Eastern Hemispheres

Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It contains 54 fully recognised sovereign states (countries), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

Habitat

The Malagasy species are important components of the Madagascar dry deciduous forests. Within that biome, Adansonia madagascariensis and A. rubrostipa occur specifically in the Anjajavy Forest, sometimes growing out of the tsingy limestone itself. A. digitata has been called "a defining icon of African bushland". [8]

Ecology

Baobabs store water in the trunk (up to 120,000 litres or 32,000 US gallons) to endure harsh drought conditions. [14] All occur in seasonally arid areas, and are deciduous, shedding their leaves during the dry season. Across Africa, the oldest and largest baobabs began to die in the early 21st century, likely from a combination of drought and rising temperatures. [3] The trees appear to become parched, then become dehydrated and unable to support their massive trunks. [4]

Baobabs are important as nest sites for birds, in particular the mottled spinetail [15] and four species of weaver. [16]

Food uses

The cut fruit from Mozambique Baobab - fruit (8750413322).jpg
The cut fruit from Mozambique
Baobab powder Raw baobab powder on white paper.jpg
Baobab powder

Leaves

Leaves may be eaten as a leaf vegetable. [8]

Fruit

Seed

Tree

In Tanzania, the dry pulp of A. digitata is added to sugarcane to aid fermentation in brewing (beermaking). [27]

Other uses

Some baobab species are sources of fiber, dye, and fuel. Indigenous Australians used the native species A. gregorii for several products, making string from the root fibers and decorative crafts from the fruits. [28] Oil from the seed is also used in cosmetics, particularly in moisturizers. [29]

Related Research Articles

Tamarind species of plant

Tamarind is a leguminous tree in the family Fabaceae indigenous to tropical Africa. The genus Tamarindus is a monotypic taxon.

<i>Morinda citrifolia</i> species of plant

Morinda citrifolia is a fruit-bearing tree in the coffee family, Rubiaceae. Its native range extends across Southeast Asia and Australasia, and the species is now cultivated throughout the tropics and widely naturalized. Among some 100 names for the fruit across different regions are the more common English names of great morinda, Indian mulberry, noni, beach mulberry, and cheese fruit.

<i>Adansonia gregorii</i> species of plant

Adansonia gregorii, commonly known as the boab, is a tree in the family Malvaceae. As with other baobabs, it is easily recognised by the swollen base of its trunk, which forms a massive caudex, giving the tree a bottle-like appearance. Endemic to Australia, boab occurs in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, and east into the Northern Territory. It is the only baobab to occur in Australia, the others being native to Madagascar and mainland Africa and the Arabian Peninsula . Boab ranges from 5 to 15 metres in height, usually between 9 and 12 metres, with a broad bottle-shaped trunk. Its trunk base may be extremely large; trunks with a diameter of over five metres have been recorded. A. gregorii is deciduous, losing its leaves during the dry winter period and producing new leaves and large white flowers between December and May.

<i>Adenia</i> genus of plants

Adenia is a genus of flowering plants in the passionflower family, Passifloraceae. It is distributed in the Old World tropics and subtropics. The centers of diversity are in Madagascar, eastern and western tropical Africa, and Southeast Asia. The genus name Adenia comes from "aden", reported as the Arabic name for the plant by Peter Forsskål, the author of the genus.

Bottle tree Disambiguation page providing links to topics that could be referred to by the same search term

Bottle tree or bottle-tree may refer to:

<i>Irvingia gabonensis</i> species of plant

Irvingia gabonensis is a species of African trees in the genus Irvingia, sometimes known by the common names wild mango, African mango, bush mango, dika or ogbono. They bear edible mango-like fruits, and are especially valued for their fat- and protein-rich nuts.

<i>Adansonia rubrostipa</i> species of plant

Adansonia rubrostipa, commonly known as fony baobab, is one of the nine species of baobab identified to date, and one of the six indigenous to Madagascar, within the family Malvaceae. This tree is endemic to western Madagascar and occurs in the Madagascar dry deciduous forests.

<i>Adansonia grandidieri</i> species of plant

Adansonia grandidieri, sometimes known as Grandidier's baobab, is the biggest and most famous of Madagascar's six species of baobabs. This imposing and unusual tree is endemic to the island of Madagascar, where it is an endangered species threatened by the encroachment of agricultural land.

<i>Adansonia suarezensis</i> species of plant

Adansonia suarezensis, the Suarez baobab, is an endangered species of Adansonia endemic to Madagascar.

<i>Adansonia za</i> species of plant

Adansonia za, is a species of baobab in the genus Adansonia belonging to the family Bombacaceae. It was originally named in French as anadzahé. Common names in Malagasy include bojy, boringy, bozy, bozybe, ringy, and za, the last of which gives the plant its specific epithet.

Madagascan fruit bat species of mammal

The Madagascan fruit bat is a species of bat in the family Pteropodidae. It is endemic to Madagascar and is listed as "Vulnerable" by the IUCN because it is hunted as bushmeat.

Avenue of the Baobabs protected area

The Avenue of the Baobabs, or Alley of the Baobabs, is a prominent group of Grandidier's baobabs lining the dirt road between Morondava and Belon'i Tsiribihina in the Menabe region of western Madagascar. Its striking landscape draws travelers from around the world, making it one of the most visited locations in the region. It has been a center of local conservation efforts, and was granted temporary protected status in July 2007 by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests—a step towards making it Madagascar's first natural monument.

Andranomena Reserve

Andranomena Special Reserve is a wildlife reserve in Menabe Region, western Madagascar, near the city of Morondava and the rural commune of Bemanonga.

A. digitata may refer to:

Kirindy Forest nature reserve in Madagascar

Kirindy Forest or Kirindy Private Reserve is a private park situated in the western Madagascar, 50 km northeast of the town of Morondava.

Aldabrachelys grandidieri, or Grandidier's giant tortoise, is an extinct species of tortoise that was endemic to Madagascar. Mitochondrial DNA extracted from subfossil bone confirm that it is a distinct species.

Adansonia kilima, also known as Adansonia digitata, is a species of baobab tree native to Africa, inaccurately described as a new species in 2012. As with other baobabs, it is easily recognised by the swollen base of its trunk, which forms a massive caudex, giving the tree a bottle-like appearance. It is also known by the name Adansonia digitata. Adansonia kilima is found in upland populations of southern and Eastern Africa. It has the same geographic range as A. digitata, is tetraploid, and therefore presumably the same species as the tetraploid A. digitata.

Madagascar succulent woodlands

The Madagascar succulent woodlands are a xeric shrublands ecoregion in southwestern and central western Madagascar. They are threatened by various human activities.

References

  1. "Genus: Adansonia L." Germplasm Resources Information Network. United State Department of Agriculture. 12 November 2008. Archived from the original on 30 May 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  2. Eggli, U.; Newton, L.E. (2004). Etymological Dictionary of Succulent Plant Names. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 3. ISBN   978-3-540-00489-9 . Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  3. 1 2 3 Ed Yong (11 June 2018). "Trees That Have Lived for Millennia Are Suddenly Dying The oldest baobabs are collapsing, and there's only one likely explanation". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  4. 1 2 Rachel Nuwer (12 June 2018). "Last March of the 'Wooden Elephants': Africa's Ancient Baobabs Are Dying". New York Times. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  5. "Big Baobab Facts". Archived from the original on 2008-01-06. Retrieved 2008-01-08.
  6. 1 2 Patrut, A., et al. (2010). Fire history of a giant African baobab evinced by radiocarbon dating. Radiocarbon 52(2), 717-26.
  7. Adrian Patrut et al. (2018) The demise of the largest and oldest African baobabs. Nature Plants 4: 423–426. DOI: 10.1038/s41477-018-0170-5
  8. 1 2 3 "Adansonia digitata (baobab)". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Archived from the original on 20 February 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
  9. Wickens, G. E.; Lowe, P. (2008). The Baobabs: Pachycauls of Africa, Madagascar and Australia. Berlin, Germany; New York, NY: Springer Verlag. ISBN   978-1-4020-6430-2. OCLC   166358049.
  10. 1 2 Pettigrew, J. D.; et al. (2012). "Morphology, ploidy and molecular phylogenetics reveal a new diploid species from Africa in the baobab genus Adansonia (Malvaceae: Bombacoideae)" (PDF). Taxon. 61 (6): 1240–1250. doi:10.1002/tax.616006.
  11. Baum DA, Small RL, Wendel JF (1998). "Biogeography and floral evolution of baobabs (Adansonia, Bombacaceae) as inferred from multiple data sets" (PDF). Syst Biol. 47 (2): 181–207. doi:10.1080/106351598260879. PMID   12064226.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  12. "GRIN Species Records of Adansonia". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United State Department of Agriculture. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  13. Gardner, Simon; Sidisunthorn, Pindar; Lai, Ee May (2011). Heritage Trees of Penang. Penang: Areca Books. ISBN   978-9-675-71906-6.
  14. "The Baobab tree in Senegal". Archived from the original on 4 October 2008. Retrieved 1 October 2008.
  15. "Species text in The Atlas of Southern African Birds" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-10-30.
  16. "Weavers breeding in baobabs". Animal Demography Unit, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa. Retrieved 2014-10-30.
  17. "Adansonia gregorii". Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants. Retrieved 2014-06-08.
  18. 1 2 3 UK Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (July 2008). "Baobab dried fruit pulp. EC No. 72; August 2006: Application from PhytoTrade Africa to approve baobab dried fruit pulp as a novel food ingredient. Authorised July 2008". UK Food Standards Agency. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
  19. "Baobab: Benefits, nutrition, dietary tips, and risks". Medical News Today. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  20. Osman, M. A. (2004). "Chemical and nutrient analysis of baobab (Adansonia digitata) fruit and seed protein solubility". Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 59 (1): 29–33. CiteSeerX   10.1.1.587.6400 . doi:10.1007/s11130-004-0034-1. PMID   15675149.
  21. Chadare, F. J.; et al. (2009). "Baobab food products: a review on their composition and nutritional value". Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 49 (3): 254–74. doi:10.1080/10408390701856330. PMID   19093269.
  22. "South African villagers tap into trend for 'superfood' baobab". AFP. 24 September 2018. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  23. "Baobab dried fruit pulp". UK Food Standards Agency. 2008. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
  24. "GRAS Notice No. GRN 273". US Food and Drug Administration. 25 July 2009. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  25. 1 2 Ambrose-Oji, B. and N. Mughogho. 2007. Adansonia grandidieri Baill. Archived 7 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine In: van der Vossen, H. A. M. and G. S. Mkamilo (Eds). PROTA 14: Vegetable oils/Oléagineux. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.
  26. 1 2 Ambrose-Oji, B. and N. Mughogho. 2007. Adansonia za Baill. Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine In: van der Vossen, H. A. M. and G. S. (Eds). PROTA 14: Vegetable oils/Oléagineux. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.
  27. Sidibe, M., et al. Baobab, Adansonia digitata L. Volume 4 of Fruits for the Future. International Centre for Underutilised Crops, 2002.
  28. "Dance of the baob". The Australian Women's Weekly . National Library of Australia. 2 February 1966. p. 26. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
  29. Vermaak, Ilze; Kamatou, Guy; Komane-Mofokeng, B.; Alvaro, Viljoen; Beckett, Katie (2011). "African seed oils of commercial importance — Cosmetic applications" (PDF). South African Journal of Botany. 77 (4): 920–933. doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2011.07.003 . Retrieved 21 January 2019.