Growth response of Pterocarpus soyauxii Taub. seedlings to compost application under varied watering frequency
The impact of climate change as evident in many African countries include limited supply of water and desertification among others. Mitigating such effects partly required planting tree species capable of tolerating drought or extreme weather patterns. In view of this, the growth response of P. soyauxii seedlings to compost application under varied watering frequency was investigated. The experiment was 3 x 4 factorial treatments with 6 replicates laid out in a split plot completely randomized design. The first factor consisted 3 watering frequencies (watering once a week, two weeks and three weeks) while second factor included 4 levels of Aleshinloye compost (0, 45, 90, and 135 kg N/ha). Data collected include stem heights, stem diameter and number of leaves at interval of four weeks starting from four weeks after transplanting (WAT). Moisture contents and dry matter yields were obtained at 24th WAT. Analysis of variance results indicated that there was significant difference among the watering frequencies. Seedlings watered once a week had better growth in terms of stem diameter (6.66 mm), stem heights (42.7 cm), number of leaves (18.81), root (2.77g), shoot (6.16g) and total dry weights (8.92g) than those watered once in two weeks which was higher than those watered once in three weeks at 24 WATS. The effects of various compost rates were not significantly different from control on all the parameters. The interactive effects of both factors showed that the seedlings performed best when watered once a week under compost rate of 45 kg N/ha in terms of stem heights (49.1 cm), number of leaves (20.74), dry weights; root (3.5g), shoot (6.63g) and total dry weights (10.14g), Moisture contents; root (60.07 %) and total moisture content (123.5 %). Prolonged watering frequencies (intervals of 14 and 21 days) were too extreme for the optimum growth and adaptation of P. soyauxii seedlings. Watering of P. soyauxii seedlings for at least once in a week with application of compost at 45 kg N/ha is recommended to be adequate in order to maintain and sustain its growth during plantation establishment.
Keywords: compost application, watering frequency, optimum growth, moisture content