Initial growth of tetrapluera tetraptera (Schum and Thonn.) as influenced by soils from different land use systems

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Seedling remains the most vulnerable stage of a tree life cycle. This study aimed at assessing the growth performance of Tetrapluera tetraptera seedlings in soils from different land use systems. The experiment was laid in Randomized Complete Block Design with four replicates. The treatments were soils collected from forest reserve, surface mine, farm and teak plantation. Growth parameters that that were measured were height, diameter, sturdiness quotient, relative growth rate (height and diameter) and plant dry weight. The soils used differed in their effectiveness in promoting the growth of seedlings. Seedlings in reserve and farm soil had statistically greater height and relative height growth rate than those in teak and mined soil. Diameter and relative diameter growth rate of seedlings in farm and reserve soils were significantly higher (P < 0.001) than those in teak and mined soils. The soils used had a significant effect (P < 0.001) on shoot, root and total seedling dry weights. Farm and reserve soil produced seedlings whose dry weights were significantly higher than the other soils. Seedlings from mined, reserve and farm soils had significantly higher nitrogen concentration in all plant parts. Reserve soil produced seedlings with statistically higher plant parts nitrogen uptake and the least was recorded in mined soil. The soils used had a significant effect on plant phosphorus uptake with the higher values been recorded in farm soil and the least in the mined soil. Seedlings in farm and reserve soils had statistically (P < 0.01) higher nitrogen and phosphorus use efficiency than those in teak and mined soils. Percentage mycorrhiza colonization was positively correlated with plant total nitrogen concentration (r = 0.800, P < 0.05). The study has shown that Tetrapluera tetraptera seedlings growing in farm and reserve soils exhibit fast growth rate with efficient nutrient acquisition and utilization.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Philosophy in Agroforestry, 2015