This study examined effects of climatic conditions on patterns of flowering and fruiting of tamarind (Tamarindus indica L.). Data were recorded over a period of 26 months in two contrasting climatic zones. The monitoring revealed that irrespective of climatic zones, flowering starts by the end of the dry season when hygrometry begins to rise and lasts two to three months. Fruiting begins around the peak of the rainy season and reaches the ripening stage six to eight months later during the dry season. Flowering and fruiting abilities weakly varied with climatic conditions. Flowering durations and active phases seemed to be significantly longer (p < 0.001) under wetter climatic conditions (Sudan-Guinea zone) while fruiting parameters showed the opposite trend. Flowering length was found to be weakly correlated to climatic conditions while the latter variable was positively correlated to fruiting length. A negative correlation was observed between fruiting length and trees diameter; suggesting that the younger the tree, the longer the fruiting phase. These results provide insights into the patterns of phenological events of tamarind that could help in managing its populations and anticipating its flowering and fruiting shifting response to climate changes. Thorough research should however focus on modeling the combined effect of climate, soil, land use regimes and age of trees on the inter-annual variation of flowering and fruiting patterns and productivity.
Key words: Indigenous fruit trees, phenology, climate, Benin, West Africa.
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