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Temporal Growth Adaptations of Acacia jacquemontii for Survival in Desert Condition of Thal

Faiz Rasool, Muhammad Asif Zulfiqar, Sumaira M. Hussain, Qudsia Bano, Zulfiqar Ali Rahujo, Noor Samad Naseer, Nazeer Ahmad, Saeed Ahmad, Khayyam Anjum

Abstract


Acacia jacquemontii was studied for its growth adaptation at the Northern Rakh Dagar Kotli in Thal desert, Pakistan. In this study, 5 small and 5 large plants of this shrub were randomly selected and various growth parameters of its twigs were measured after every 15 days from February to August during the year of normal rainfall (209 mm) in 2013 and of the dry year (125 mm) in 2014. Data indicated that over the period of 6½ months in 2013, the net increase in the twig parameters of 40 twigs of small plants like diameter, length, number of nodes, total number of leaves, immature flower clusters, mature flower clusters, immature pods and mature pods was 2.3 mm, 21 cm, 13, 17, 15, 12, 5 and 2 respectively, While the net increase in twigs parameters of large plants in this year was 38 mm, 34 cm, 19, 25, 19, 15, 9 and 4 respectively. During the dry year 2014, the net increase in the above twig parameters of small and large plants was extremely low. In this dry year, approximately collective net decrease in twigs of both plant sizes was varying in between 25-80%. The findings of the study indicated that species had overall very slow growth rate of its twigs parameters in the desert conditions. In the dry year, this species further reduced the growth of its twigs parameters. Such growth adaptation characteristics helped the species to continue its survival in the harsh dry conditions of the Thal desert.


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