Germination Physiology, Germinant Establishment and Growth Performance Studies of Ficus sycomorus L. (Moraceae).

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Addis Ababa University


Ficus sycomorus L. (Moraceae) is a tree indigenous to Ethiopia which possesses useful agro-forestry, medicinal, ecological and fodder importance. The tree is found scattered in many parts of the country mainly as a result of widespread deforestation and also lack of knowledge in the propagation techniques of the species. The current study focuses on germination physiology, germinant establishment and growth performances of tree’s seedlings in the glasshouse. Figs of the tree were collected and dried for a week for various studies on the species. Germination of seeds in the laboratory was tested by using plant-derived aqueous smoke extracts, GA3 and KNO3 solutions at various concentrations. Double distilled water was used as a control. Germinant establishment and growth performances of young seedlings at various soil mixtures were examined. The results of seed count on the sample figs yielded between 168 to 465 seeds per fruit. The majority of seeds (73.5%) were found damaged by wasps and the balance (26.5%) were found to be sound and thus used for germination studies of the species. In the laboratory experiments a relative concentration of 100% plant-derived aqueous smoke extracts, 10-6M GA3 and 10-3M KNO3 yielded maximum germination of 92, 83 and 88%, respectively. The results of seed germination studies under laboratory conditions revealed significant differences (p<0.05). Among the various treatments administered germination studies conducted in polyethylene plastic pots under glasshouse conditions resulted in mean percentage germination of 57%. Extent of germinant establishment was studied using soil mixes of 4:3:2, 2:1:1, 4:1:3, 4:3:1, 1:1:1 and 1:1:0 of red soil, compost and sand, respectively. The study found 100% survival of seedlings in all the treatments and the control. Growth performance of seedlings tested in the above soil mixtures revealed that the 4:3:2 soil mixture resulted in significant (p<0.01) difference in growth compared to all the other treatments and the control. The overall results showed that F. sycomorus can efficiently be propagated through seeds in a wide range of soil types. Key words/phrases: Ficus sycomorus, fig, propagation, smoke extracts, seedling establishment.



Ficus sycomorus, fig, propagation, smoke extracts, seedling establishment