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Savanna Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences 1(1):46 - 50
Preliminary Survey of African Mistletoe (Loranthaceae) on Host Trees Species in Sokoto Metropolis, North Western Nigeria
Anka, S. A. and Aliero, A. A.

ABSTRACT
The study assessed occurrence and distribution of African Mistletoe (Lorantheceae) in Sokoto Metropolis, northwestern Nigeria between February and July, 2015. Seven (7) different study locations with occurrence of the mistletoe-bearing trees were studied. Host trees and Loranthus were identified and examined accordingly using standard methods. Results have indicated highest occurrence of the mistletoe in Azadirachta indica with 45.99% and its lowest occurrence in Ceiba pentandra with 2.08%. Overall, eleven (11) tree species had mistletoes on them with different levels of infestation among the species. Similarly, different locations have shown different levels of the mistletoe occurrence with variations in the number of infested trees. UDUS Main Campus with seven (7) tree species infected had the highest infestation of 21.66% but Runjin Sambo with no fewer than eight (8) infected tree species had the second highest infestation of 20.18%. The least infected of all the study locations is Gagi with an infestation level of 6.53% and five (5) tree species infected. This is lower than Farfaru with 9.20% infestation and only four (4) species infected. Vegetative crowns of all the mistletoes observed were apparently, ball-shaped (54.70%), irregularshaped (28.60%) or triangular-shaped (16.60%). The feeding preference of bird mutualists to the host tree species and/or the associated mistletoe could be responsible for the higher mistletoes infestations in some tree species than others. Moreover, tree populations having closer proximity to water bodies probably attracted more pollinator birds, responsible for the transfer of mistletoe seeds and causing higher infestations on tree populations in the affected areas.