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Strategies trees use to overcome seasonal water limitation in an agroforestry system in semiarid West Africa

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Agroforestry parklands in which annual crops are grown under scattered mature trees constitute the most prevalent farming system in semiarid West Africa covering vast areas of land. The most dominant tree species in these systems is Vitellaria paradoxa an indigenous tree to West Africa. Despite the importance of this tree in the region no study to our knowledge has examined its sources and patterns of water uptake. In this study we used oxygen stable isotopes at natural abundance levels to investigate water sources used by V. paradoxa both in the dry and wet season in an agroforestry parkland in Burkina Faso. We found that during the wet season soil moisture was highest near the soil surface (

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