Influence of solar irradiance, watering frequency and inorganic fertilizer on incidence of dieback disease and growth of Ceiba pentendra (L.) seedlings
AbstractEfforts at raising seedlings of Ceiba pentandra in nurseries have been hampered by damping-off, leaf spots and stem anthracnose causing stem dieback disease by fungal attack. Managing the disease by fungicides retarded growth of the seedlings; hence a method of controlling the dieback disease and boosting growth of Ceiba pentandra seedlings based on environmental factors was investigated. Using a randomised complete block design in a factorial split-plot experiment, the dependence of survival and growth of Ceiba pentandra seedlings on solar irradiance, watering frequency and NPK (15:15:15) fertilizer was studied to improve the survival rate of seedlings by preventing dieback disease in large-scale plantation development in Ghana. Solar irradiance, daily watering of 4.5 L per plot and inorganic fertilizer application of 1.0 g per seedling had the strongest effect in minimizing the incidence of dieback disease and ensuring 90 % survival and improved collar diameter growth. The levels of irradiance, watering regime and optimum fertilizer application required to control dieback disease and promote growth of Ceiba pentandra seedlings were set, and could be adopted by tree growers.
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