Effect of seed collection times and pretreatment methods on germination of Terminalia sericea Burch. ex DC

  • MG Likoswe
  • JP Njoloma
  • WF Mwase
  • CZ Chilima
Keywords: Germination, miombo, seed collection, seed pretreatment, Terminalia sericea.

Abstract

A nursery experiment was conducted to study the effects of seed collection times and pretreatment methods on the germination of Terminalia sericea Burch. ex DC. (Combretaceae). T. sericea is a
multipurpose tree species occurring in the miombo woodlands whose seedling production is hampered by very low seed germination rate. Seeds were subjected to four treatment methods each at four
different duration of exposure; soaking in hot water, immersion in concentrated sulphuric acid (95%), nicking and soaking in cold water and fire scorching. First collection was done when 60% of the fruits
were deep-green to brown while second collection was done when all fruits were purple-brown to pinkpurple. Nicking and soaking in cold water for 12 h gave the highest cumulative germination percentage
(51%) for the first collection and appears to be the most feasible and suitable pretreatment method for small scale farmers than use of sulphuric acid. Soaking in hot water for 15 and 20 min and immersion in
concentrated sulphuric acid (95%) for 3 and 4 h gave poorest germination (0%). However, in the second collection, use of concentrated sulphuric acid for 2 h gave highest germination (14%) followed by nicking and soaking in cold water for 24 h (12%). Sulphuric acid is expensive, requires proper handling techniques; therefore nicking and soaking in cold water for 12 h is being recommended as a cheaper and less hazardous pretreatment method to improve germination in T. sericea.
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eISSN: 1684-5315