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Centennial Olive trees in Lebanon: a substantial patrimony

Abstract : This study aimed to assess the centennial olive trees growing across Lebanon, with the perspective of conservation of the ancient germplasm. The survey indicated the existence of numerous centennial olive trees distributed in different agro-climatic areas, from 80 to 1350 meters altitude across the country. Centennial olives were found in large size orchards and scattered as well as in young orchards, road hedges and gardens for ornamental purposes. Yet, no reliable information is available regarding the age of the centennials, but they can considered as 500 to 1000 years old. Among these, only six centennials located in Bcheale village in the north of the country at 1000 meters altitude are considered as “millenials” or “monumentals” by the Ministry of Tourism, while the remaining ones widespread across the countries are still ignored. As a preliminary morphological characterization of the trees conducted on 292 centennials spread in 48 orchards, a large variability was recorded for foot, trunk and central cavity sizes. Principal component analysis showed that foot and trunk circumferences as well as central cavity diameter were the most discriminating descriptors. Most of the 48 orchards were clustered together in one pool sharing similar traits. The most outstanding orchards were located in 10 locations distributed across Lebanon. At the tree level, six single trees located in North and Mount Lebanon were well differentiated by their large sized foot, trunk and central cavity diameter. These centennials should be further characterized using morphological and agronomical descriptors in order to understand their performance through time and to valorize them in selection programs.
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  • HAL Id : hal-01607698, version 1
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L. Chalak, F. Malas, B. Hamadeh, Laila Essalouh, Bouchaib Khadari. Centennial Olive trees in Lebanon: a substantial patrimony. 5. International Conference Olivebioteq 2014, Nov 2014, Amman, Jordan. ⟨hal-01607698⟩



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