Influence of pre-germination treatments on germination and early seedlings growth of Carapa procera
This study was carried out at the Forest Nursery of the Department of Forest and Wildlife Management, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Port Harcourt Nigeria. It assessed the effect of pre-germination treatments on seed germination and early seedling growth performance of Carapa procera. The experiment was laid out in a completely randomized design involving analysis of variance. Duncan multiple range test (DMRT) at (P<0.05) was used for mean separation. The treatments used were: hot water soaking (5 minutes), mechanical scarification, cold water soaking (24 hours) and the control. A total of 600 seeds were used for germination (i.e. 150 seeds per treatment). Observations on germination were recorded daily for six weeks on germination emergence, duration and percentage. A total of 80 seedlings were used i.e. 20 seedlings of uniform height at two (2) leaves stage for each treatment were transplanted into polypots, Evaluation of early seedling growth was done for four months based on height, collar diameter and leaf number. Highest Germination percentage was observed in mechanically scarified seeds (94%) and lowest in control seeds (56%). Earliest emergence and duration was observed in mechanically scarified seeds (5 and 4 days respectively) and latest in control (21.67 and 29.33 days respectively). A significant effect (p ≤ 0.05) was observed in all growth parameters at all stages of growth. Mechanically scarified seeds produced the highest performance for all growth parameters studied followed by control when compared to the other pre-treatment methods. It is recommended that seeds of Carapa procera be mechanically scarified before sowing. Although other treatments can be used to enhance germination, they may not be required for seedling growth since seedlings from untreated seeds produced higher growth parameters after scarification treatment.
Keywords: Carapa procera, pre-treatments, germination, early seedling growth