Leguminosae Caes

Guild: sb

Life form: large tree Max. height: 42 m (Voorhoeve 1965) Max. diameter: 100 cm (Voorhoeve 1965) Leaf: alternate, paripinnately compound, 1-7 pairs of leaflets, rhombic, nanophyll (0.3-0.4 x 0.8-1.1 cm), entire, coriaceous, glabrous, glands present at the lower surface; red-brown hairs on twigs and rachis Inflorescence: axillary or terminal, branched (panicle) (up to 8 cm long), brown velvety-pubescent Flower: small; corolla white, largest petal yellow Fruit: dry dehiscent (pod), flat, oblong-obovate (5 x 12 cm), woody with central raised line, brown; 1-3 seeds Seed: disc-shaped, elliptic, very large (2.1 x 1.8 x 0.5 cm), dark brown

Other: the bark is grey and flaky. The slash is pink-brown. It has thick root swellings. The crown is often small and rounded, and only very large trees have a spreading crown. The wood density is 0.68 g/cm3.

Distribution

Continent: Upper Guinea endemic (Wieringa 1999) Upper Guinea: Liberia (Wieringa 1999) Distribution type: continuous, local, present in 7 30' cells, distribution range is 283 km, Red List species (vulnerable). At present, the species is only known from Liberia, but it could be present in Sierra Leone as well (Voorhoeve 1965). Forest type: wet evergreen forest bottom lands and slightly undulating land with sandy loam soils (Voorhoeve 1965). It occurs on drylands, between 0 and 100 m altitude (Wieringa 1999).

Regeneration

It has a phanerocotylar epigeal reserve seedling type (cf. Voorhoeve 1965). Seedlings are very abundant in the forest. The structure of the single dominant forest of Tetraberlinia is different from the other gregarious species such as Monopetalanthus compactus and Gilbertiodendron preussii. Besides an abundant regeneration at the forest floor, the species is equally well represented among medium-sized trees. This population structure gives prospects for silvicultural exploitation. However, the trees seem to suffer from a sudden exposure to full light, and the low diameter limit for exploitation results in a complete destruction of the forest; if not by direct damage of the remaining stand, then by the after effects of full exposure (Voorhoeve 1965). The species can flower from a dbh of 8 cm onwards (Voorhoeve 1965).

Uses

In Liberia, the wood is used for all kinds of purposes, such as construction, carpentry, etc. (Voorhoeve 1965).

Data sources

Voorhoeve (1965), Lock (1989), Bongers et al. (1999), Wieringa (1999), IUCN Red List (2000), Hawthorne & Jongkind (2004)

Phenology

Deciduousness: evergreen Dispersal: by explosive pods (Voorhoeve 1965) Timing: flowering period from April to June (Voorhoeve 1965); fruiting period from November to January (Voorhoeve 1965)

Habitat

Tetraberlinia is found above an annual rainfall of 2000 mm, and becomes abundant above 2500 mm/yr (Bongers et al. 1999). In the high forest, the tree is gregarious, forming small stands or extensive single dominant forests, especially on

spp

n

Open (n)

Altitude

River

Coast

Mean Annual Rainfall

Soil CMK

Soil WHC

T.t.

25

11 (9)

>500m

<2km

<5km

D

M

W

VW

L

M

H

L

M

H

0

8

0

0

4

4

92

0

100

0

100

0

0

All

46333

37

4

39

7

37

29

24

10

6

69

25

36

13

39

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