Effect of drought stress on early growth of Adansonia digitata (L.) in Semiarid Region of Nigeria
Drought and high temperatures are said to have triggered increased tree mortality and could be linked to the menace of climate change. This research therefore investigated the effect of drought stress on early growth of Adansonia digitata where seedlings were exposed to different watering frequencies (Once daily, after 3, 7 and 14 days) using 200ml of water per seedling for twelve weeks. A completely randomized design was used and data was collected on stem height, collar diameter, leaf production and seedling dry weight. Relative growth rate, net assimilation rate and absolute growth rate were calculated and the data was analyzed with analysis of variance (ANOVA) and significantly different means were separated with Duncan Multiple Range Test [DMRTs (0.05)]. Result showed significant effect on early growth of A. digitata where seedlings that received water once daily and once after three days had the highest growth in all the variables assessed. Watering once after three days is recommended for the production of A. digitata seedlings.
Key word: Drought stress, Seedling growth, A. digitata