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Protecting threatened Over-seas biodiversity
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Who to produce substitution species for Acacia mangium?

In June 2020, GEPOG launched a call for tenders to identify the service provider capable of testing technical protocols for the production of native replacement species for Acacia mangium, an exotic species that invades the savannas of Guyana.

Acacia mangium © Anna STIER

A multi-step process
Given the threat posed by Acacia mangium, especially for savannah environments in French Guiana and the fact that it is widely used by the local population, it is now necessary to identify local species capable of replacing uses the premises of this invasive alien species.

Knowing the uses in the territory of Acacia mangium
A first step consisted in carrying out interviews in order to identify the uses made of Acacia mangium on the territory, thus making it possible to understand that this invasive exoticspecies, introduced from Australia in the 1970s, was used by the local population for various uses:

  • Shading as part of landscaping
  • Shading for livestock
  • Shading in the gardens
  • Hedge and Forage grove
  • Honey characteristics
  • Fragmented ramial wood (grinding residue from fragmented wood and twigs)
  • Nitrogen enrichment of the soil
  • Delimitation of plots and sub-plots
Spondias                                                                                                                Cordia curassavica © John Tann

Identifying local replacement species
In a second step, a list of alternative species was thus defined in consultation with many partners. The 10 local species of substitutions selected are as follows:

  • Protium heptaphyllum incense, Tapirira guianensis and Senna multijuga – Shading in landscaping
  • Croton matourensis – Cattle shade
  • Spondias – Garden shade
  • Inga edulis – Fragmented rameal wood
  • Inga ingoides – Nitrogen enrichment
  • Mouriri guianensis – Hurdles
  • Varronia currassavica or Cordia curassavica – Mellifers
  • Varronia schomburgkii or Cordia schomburgkii – Mellifers

New step: the production of these plants!
As local species have been identified and validated by the CSRPN, GEPOG is now looking for a service provider capable of testing technical production protocols for these species. The results of the tests will be used to write documents making it possible to define, for each species produced, the favorable protocols for optimizing the seed harvesting and seedling production operations (germination of seeds, transplanting of seedlings and rearing of young).