Journal Of Applied Horticulture ISSN: 0972-1045


Z. Nasr, M.L. Khouja, R. Aini, A. Hammadi, H. Manai and B. Mimouni

Institut National de la Recherche en Genie Rural, Eaux et Forets Rue Hedi Karray, BP10 2080 Ariana - Tunisia

Key words: Biodiesel crops, irrigated jatropha, semi-arid areas, genetic diversity, global warming

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 2, pages 90-94.

Abstract: Bio-diesel crops are presented as a potential tool to mitigate global warming. However, these crops are often highly water consuming, which limits their use in semi-arid areas. In this respect, the Jatropha is considered by many researchers as the most appropriate species in these dry conditions. The aim of our investigation was to study the possibility of its use in Tunisia regarding its behavior in semi-arid area of the north-west region. Eight provenances of Jatropha curcas L. introduced from Brazilia (5), Surinam (1), Mosambic (1) and Tanzania (1) were compared on the basis of their ecophysiological performance. Results showed variability in photosynthesis, leaf transpiration, chlorophyll content and leaf growth between accessions during the growing season. Average photosynthesis and leaf transpiration values ranged from 7 to 13 Limol m-2 s-1 and from 2.5 to 3.5 mmol m-2 s-1, respectively. Specific dry matter per unit leaf area varied from 50 g m-2 to 90 g m-2. Provenances from the Mozambic and Prana with the lowest biomass per unit leaf area and high photosynthetic capacity are more likely to offer greater productivity in semi-arid zone.

Journal of Applied Horticulture