INFLUENCE OF DIFFERENT LIGHT INTENSITIES ON THE GERMINATION AND EARLY GROWTH OF Treculia africana
This study was carried out to investigate the effect of different light intensities on the germination and early growth of Treculia africana under different light intensities (100%, 60%, and 40% light intensities) as well as under forest canopy (control I), open nursery condition (control II). The experiment was carried out at the tree nursery site of the Department of Forestry and Wood Technology, Federal University of Technology, Akure and lasted for eighteen weeks. Treculia africana fruits were collected from Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Jericho hills, Ibadan. Both germination and early growth characteristics (total height, collar diameter, number of leaves and biomass production) of the seedlings were monitored. Higher value of plant height was recorded under 40% and 60% light intensities while seedlings grown under higher light intensities (open nursery condition and 100% light intensity) showed higher values in both collar diameter and number of leaves. The results also indicated that T. africana seedlings Planted under high light environment (open nursery condition and 100% light intensity) had more biomass accumulated than those recorded under low light environment (40% and 60% light intensities). Faster growth in stem height may be achieved by subjecting T. africana seedlings to low light environment, but will result to spindle and fragile stem, due to their low collar diameter. Collar diameter, number of leaves and biomass accumulation will be higher for T. africana seedlings under higher light intensities (open nursery condition and 100% light intensity), with shorter but more stable and less fragile stem. As a result of this, it has come to light that better T. africana would be produced under high light environment. Domestication and cultivation of T. africana will be enhanced using information from this study.