Reproductive traits affect the rescue of valuable and endangered multipurpose tropical trees

Flowering inflorescence of Vitex doniana showing the white and purple zygomorphic flowers and their reproductive organs (Photo credit: V. Sinébou).

Conservation strategies are urgently needed for widely used tree species. Increasing numbers of species are threatened by overexploitation and their recovery might be poor due to low reproductive success and poor regeneration rates. One of the first steps for any conservation policy should be an assessment of the reproductive biology of the species in question. In an article published in AoB PLANTS, Sinébou et al. studied the flowering biology, pollination, breeding system and germination potential of Vitex doniana, a multipurpose threatened African tree. V. doniana’s breeding characteristics as well as germination performance offered the required conditions to develop successful conservation strategies. Protection and integration in agroforestry systems could improve the regeneration of the tree.

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