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Assessment of hedgerow species for seed size, stand establishment and seedling height

, : Assessment of hedgerow species for seed size, stand establishment and seedling height. Agroforestry Systems 35(1): 95-110

The relationships between seed size, emergence, stand establishment and seedling height were examined in a trial comparing 35 multipurpose tree and shrub species direct sown as hedgerows for alley cropping in four environments in Haiti - a high altitude (1150-1200 m) N.-facing mountain humid forest site, a calcareous low altitude (70 m) E.-facing eroded subtropical humid forest site, a basaltic low altitude (80 m) eroded subtropical humid forest site, and a semiarid low-altitude (87 m) W. facing subtropical dry forest site. Seed pretreatment varied with species, sowing rate per hill (planting spot) was adjusted for the (laboratory determined) germination rate and increased for small seeds, and sowing depth was adjusted for seed size. Sowing was done in May, and the sites were irrigated. Emergence was measured 35-41 days after sowing, and stands were then thinned to one plant per hill, and height measured shortly afterwards. Logarithmic functions relating percentage emergence, percentage stand establishment (percentage of hills with plants) and seedling height to seed weight were positive and significant. These relationships were stronger when species with 100-seed weight >10 g were excluded from the analysis. Higher Rsuperscript 2 values were obtained by regressing percentage stand establishment than regressing percentage emergence on seed weight. Although exceptions were noted, a majority of species having 100-seed weights between 2.5 and 10 g had good stands. Establishment was poor or inconsistent for species with 100-seed weight <2.5 g. The effect of seed size on height was more important for 100-seed weights <5 or 8.8 g, depending upon the site, than for larger seeds. Species with 100-seed weights <2.5 g are considered unsuitable for direct sowing where the chance of drought is high.


DOI: 10.1007/bf02345331

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