Propagation pattern of Machaerium Lunatum (Linn F) ducke in five different soil types
Machaerium lunatum is a perennial shrub that grows in aquatic environment especially on the banks of fresh, brackish and marine habitats especially in tidal zones. A study of the possibility of the propagation of this plant outside its natural aquatic environment, what part of the stem will grow and what soil type will be most suitable for it was carried out. Mature, medium and very young stem propagules and five soil types were used for this purpose and include (a) riverbed soil, from the natural habitat of the plant, (b) sandy soil, (c) clay soil, (d) Humus soil and (e) a mixture of sandy + Humus soil. The study was carried out for five weeks at the University of Port Harcourt Ecological Centre. The parameters used to measure the performance were plant height, leaf number, leaf area, and the number of sprouted nodes. At the end of the study, it was found that humus soil had the highest figure for plant height (4.6±1.14) closely followed by riverbed soil (4.5±2.4). For number of leaves riverbed soil performed better than the other soil types (19.1± 7.1). Sandy soil performed better than others (1.5±0.3) for leaf area while for sprouted node Humus soil was higher (1.75± 0.8) than the others. This result shows that M. lunatum can be propagated outside its natural environment, and humus soil can support the growth better than the other soil types. This study will also provide a template for further studies on this plant since its importance in the Niger Delta cannot be overemphasized.
Keywords: Machaerium lunatum, Propagation, Humus soil, River-bed soil, Sandy soil, Aquatic environment