Germination and Early Growth Performances of Cordia Africana Lam. in Potted Vertisol and Nitosol in Bichena Town, East Gojjam Zone, Amhara Regional State

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Addis Ababa University


Cordia africana Lam. (Synonym: Cordia abyssinca) belongs to the family Boraginaceae, and subfamily Cordioideae. C. africana is multipurpose species and has various uses, including its suitability for soil conservation and/or soil development, water conservation, as shade tree for coffee plants, source of excellent timber, for use as sources of edible fruits and medicine. The species occurs in primary and secondary forest of woodland at altitudes between 550 and 2600 m.a.s.l. and with annual rainfall of 700 to 2000 mm. The present study was initiated with a view to contributing to the conservation and development of C. africana, which is among one of Ethiopia’s most useful tree species. The study focused on the species’ seed germination and early growth performances, and was conducted in Amhara Regional State, East Gojjam Zone, Bichena town. Seed germination was achieved in plastic sleeves filled with vertisol and nitosol and arranged on nursery bed conditions. The study found that germination percentage, mean germination time, and germination vigor were better for seeds planted in nitosol than in vertisol. However, data analyses showed that there was no significant difference (p ≤ 0.05) between the nitosol and vertisol treatments for all the germination parameters measured. The study results showed that early growth performances of seedlings mean height increment were significantly (p < 0.01) higher for plants grown in nitosol (40.61 cm) compared to those grown in vertisol (34.95 cm). Similarly, mean internodal length was highly significant (p < 0.01) for plants grown in nitosol (44.4 mm), compared to those grown in vertisol (34.6 mm). Leaf number of plants was highly significant (p < 0.01) for nitosol grown plants (mean number of leaves per plant = 16) compared to those grown in vertisol (with mean number of leaves per plant = 13). Likewise, mean leaf area value was significantly (p < 0.05) greater for plants grown in nitosol (670.88 mm2) compared to those grown in vertisol (544.22 mm2). Mean root collar diameter was significantly (p ≤ 0.01) greater for plants grown in nitosol (4.43 cm) compared to those grown in vertisol (3.6 cm). Total mean dry weight of the seedlings grown in nitosol (17.67 gm.) was significantly (p < 0.01) larger than those grown in vertisol (11.32 gm.). The study also indicated that seedlings of C. africana grown in nitosol attained a height of 41 cm within 7 months suggesting that the species is one of Ethiopia’s fastest growing native tree species. From these results, it is concluded that C. africana plants grow much better in nitosol than in vertisol, and that restoration and/or afforestation of this species must take into consideration the proper choice of soil type. Key words/phrases: Boraginaceae, leaf area, mean dry weight, moisture content



Boraginaceae, Leaf Area, Mean Dry Weight, Moisture Content