Chemistry of Natural Compounds, Vol. Rios UDC Key words: Acacia pennatula, Leguminosae, terpenes, coumarins, flavones. Several chemical studies have been performed on species of the Leguminosae family, one of the biggest and most important families of the vegetable kingdom [1]. Acacia is a genus belonging to this family and includes approximately 1.

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JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. Postal 63, Xalapa , Ver. Economic Botany 53 ] , Acacia pennatulais a native treefound commonlyon cattlepasturesand otherdisturbed sites in the mid-elevationzone of Veracruz,Mexico. Thepods are a favorite food sourcefor free ranging cattle.

Pod collection and productionhas been commercializedat a small scale. The results of this studystronglysuggest that the managementof acacia treesfor pod produc- tion has the potentialfor providingan environmentallysound, locally derivedfood sourcefor cattle while maintainingtree cover on pasture lands.

Soil type has a strong influenceon stand structureand pod production;the largest pod crops with the largest and most nutritiouspods are found on Andosolsand Acrisols, as opposedto the unproductiveRegosols.

Wesuggest that the currentsystem could be expandedby promotionand marketingof the pods and improved managementof the acacia stands. Sus vainas son una fuente de alimentopara el ganado de libre pastoreo. La colecta y comercializaci6n de las vainas se ha realizado a pequenia escala.

Los resultadosde este estudio sugierenque el manejode los drbolesde acacia para la produccion de vaina tiene un gran potencial comofuente alimenticiapara el ganado, con la ventajade ser un sistemaambientalmenteadecuadoy localmenteproducido,en el que ademdsse mantiene la cubierta arborea en los pastizales.

Tambiknencontramosque el tipo de suelo tiene una fuerte influencia en la estructurade los huizachales y en la producci6n de vainas; en los Andosolesy Acrisoles se producen las mayorescosechas y las vainas son de mayortamanioy calidad nutricionalque las producidasen los Regosoles. Key Words: Acacia pods, livestock fodder,silvopastoralsystem.

The state of Veracruz is one of the richest and which have existed for over four hundredyears, most diverse regions of Mexico, a country but have expanded rapidly over the last fifty known to have one of the most diverse biotas in Bernard; Skerritt With the advent the world.

The Acacia pennatula is one of several species of mid-elevation zone of Central Veracruz, has tra- acacia, out of the approximately New World ditionally been a coffee and sugar cane produc- species that are primarilyassociated with live- ing area. This region is largely deforested and stock pasture Chazaro; Gutierrezand Ar- also supports large expanses of cattle pasture mesto ; Travest Like the other live- stock-associatedacacias and mesquites Proso- I Received 18 June ; accepted9 June The study area with localities, samplingsites, and their soil types.

However, the use and potential productivepastureland Chazaro; Gomez, value of Neotropical acacias is poorly docu- Signoret, and Abufn The fact that the mented but see Chazaro The purposeof thornsare a widely recognized attributeof aca- this study was to explore and documentthe uses cias is underscoredby the common name hui- of a common acacia in CentralVeracruz,Mex- zache used throughoutMexico.

This name is de- ico, and to analyze its economic potential and rived from the Nahuatl word for "thorn" or ecological value. The use of pods for cattle fodder Vaugh ; Rzedowski ; Siegler and is well known for certain ecologically similar Ebinger ; Standley and Steyermark Rzedowski of Prosopis Felker and Bandurski For considers that the A.

Keilbach groves; the animalsingest the seed pod and pass pers. The pods have both high protein the seeds unharmed,spreading them via their and high fiber content, which makes them ap- dung around the edges of existing patches of propriatefodder Chaizaro There are at acacia. The close associationbetween acaciaand least two reportsof regularhumanconsumption livestock may have an evolutionarybasis. The of flour from the seeds or pods of this species grazingand browsingof large mammalsmay fa- Gentry ; Kunkel Whereas, in vor the growthof this spiny plant over the rapid many areas, ranchers simply release livestock growth of other pioneer species Brown The firm, indehiscent posts.

Because of the commercial possibilities, pods of Acacia pennatula are similarto those of we focus most of the discussion in this paperon species in Africa which are dispersed by large the production,collection and marketingof aca- mammals ungulates,giraffes, and elephants in cia pods.

Altitude varies were probablynot long ago dominatedby oaks from to m a. The climate until recent increases in wood cutting and the is humidand temperatewith a mean annualtem- arrivalof cattle, factors that ultimatelyfavor the perature around C and an average annual shift towardsan acacia-dominatedsavanna. Aca- rainfall of cm Soto and Gomez Andosols are derivedfrom volcanic ucts.

The most widespreaduse is for fuelwood materials,moderatelydeveloped, more than and on-site constructionmaterials. In addition, cm deep and relatively rich in organic mater. Acacia pennatula is used commonly as a The naturalvegetation of the region is tran- source of fuelwood and building materials,par- sitional between temperateand tropical. In our ticularlyfence posts Chazaro; Durr study area, three main naturalvegetation types 25; N.

Keilbach, pers. Greenberg, can be recognized:cloud forests with a combi- Bichier and Sterling for example, found nation of boreal and tropicalelements, between thatranchersin the Ocosingo Valley of Chiapas, and m a. However, of indehiscentpods which are commonly eaten only patches of naturalvegetationremain. A sample of 30 g of dry pods with three We examined maps and interpreted aerial replicates per each of six localities was used, photographsto determine the current distribu- comparingnitrogenpercentageby the improved tion of the acacia groves in our study area.

To- Kjeldahl method for nitrate-containingsamples pographicmaps scale and aerialpho- Horwitz crude protein by the Kjel- tos scale were used.

From September dahl method Horwitz and mineral to August , we surveyed the area for and moisturecontentby the ashes and drying in acacia groves or acacia trees in pastures,coffee vacuo at ? C respectively Horwitz plantations and old-fields and selected twenty During these visits we gathered Clark and Evans The following param- the following informationfrom pod collectors: eters were measuredor estimated for a total of name, age, occupation,place of collection, col- 50 individuals on each site: distance to nearest lecting time, numberof trees visited, numberof neighbor,total height, basal perimeterand two previous years collecting and total weight of perpendicularcrown diameters.

These data al- pods collected on a daily basis. We also gathered low us to examine the stand structureand to in- informationregardingpreviousyears production fer the pattern of colonization of the land by and sales. We used two- Lomas. We were able to locate and interview way Analysis of Variance ANOVA to deter- four rancherswho had purchasedpods from the mine the amountof variationin tree size basal posts.

We asked their opinions on how pods tree diameter explainedby soil type. Our purpose was to establish a and its general acceptability as a range and regression between tree size and pod crop, so shade tree plant. The 10 sampling age for livestock, there has been no estimate of sites were distributedacross the three soil types the consumptionof the resourceby free-ranging with two on Acrisol, three on Regosol and five cattle with access to trees on the pasture.

In or- on Andosol. A log-linear model using General- der to make a crudeestimateof the use of acacia ized Linear Models McCullagh and Nelder pods, we surveyedpastureson two dairy ranch- was used to analyze the relationbetween es in the suburb of Briones, Coatepec, and numberof pods per tree and basal tree diameter, counted the number of acacia seeds found in total tree height and soil type.

Separatetransects In addition to estimating pods, we collected were established through portions of pastures from each tree, took the weight, and mea- with low densities of acacias and those with no sured the length and maximumwidth with dial acacias to see if distancefrom trees affected the calipers. A subsampleof the pods without seeds estimates. Chavarrillo1 Regosol 3. Chavarrillo2 Regosol 8. The pods are variable in suredat the site combinedwith the averagedef- length from 4.

The pods are made of a cia pods by cattle on these ranches. Unripe green pods Because we recommendthat pods and seeds remainon the tree up to monthsgradually be ground to produce feed, we have compared turningdark brown in March-Apriland subse- the nutritionalcontentof the pod flour collected quently falling to the ground. All pods that are in Ocosingo, Chiapas to alternativecattle feeds. The analyses were completedat the laboratories Uneatenpods accumulateon the groundbeneath of the NortheasternDairy Herd Improvement the parentplant and the seeds germinate if they Association Ithaca, New York.

Because sele- survive attacks by bruchid beetles and fungi nium is a potential problem with material from only after the mesocarp surroundingthe seeds arid-land plants National Research Council has decomposed 6 to 8 months in this area. Individuals of Acacia pennatula and density of acacia stems nearest neighbor produce from less than 50 to as many as 15 distance,Table 1.

Regression line of the relationshipbetween distance to nearest neighbor and diameter. A point correspondsto site avefage. Acacias grow- sols Fig. In turn,those growing on Andosols ing on Acrisols Fig. Acacia tree in a shade coffee plantationon Acrisol. Acacia trees in a pasturelandon Andosol. Factor c2 d. Acacia trees in pasturelandon Regosol. Density is controlled ei- ther by tree cutting or seedling removal from unwantedsites and pods are eaten off the ground by cattle.

All seedlings are removedand are coffee plantationson Acrisol soils , no regenerationis taking place. Therefore no intensive ameter, which in turn is correlated with tree cattle raising can be practiced. Only in site 8, height and cover. The model that best explained where the owner providesextra feed in the form pod productionincludes tree diameter,soil type of grass and corn stalks to the animals, were and their interaction Table 3. In sites with rich cattle actually observed. On this site, acacia soils Andosols and Acrisols , such as sites 16, trees have the largest sizes and numberof pods 17, 19 and 20, trees attainmaximumproductiv- per tree for that soil type, and the owner is fa- ity, while on open sites with poor soils, such as vorablydisposed towardsacacia trees.

In sites 1 sites 4 and 6, few pods are producedand many to 7, cattle are introducedonly for shortperiods trees do not producepods at all Fig. However,not all productivesites were harvested On the Andosols sites , site 15 has been i. In addition to excludes cattle.

The site has no acacia seedlings. Sites 11, 12, 14, 16 and from chemical fertilization-a view held by sev- 17 are intensively managed for livestock. Aca- eral local informants. In additionto between-site cias are abundant and trees are managed for variationin production,there is also tremendous TABLE 2.

Regosols Andosols Acrisols Diameter cm 6. Numberof pods P as relatedto tree basal diameter D in three soil types S. Apparently metabolizingthe seeds, as is the case with free good years and poor years usually alternate. For rangingcattle, they are still a high qualityfeed.


Acacia pennatula

Metrics details Abstract Acacia pennatula is a native tree found commonly on cattle pastures and other disturbed sites in the mid-elevation zone of Veracruz, Mexico. The pods are a favorite food source for free ranging cattle. Pod collection and production has been commercialized at a small scale. The results of this study strongly suggest that the management of acacia trees for pod production has the potential for providing an environmentally sound, locally derived food source for cattle while maintaining tree cover on pasture lands.


Acacia pennatula subsp. pennatula



Acacia pennatula


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