INFLUENCE OF MYCORRHIZA ON SELECTED TREE SPECIES: Gliricidia sepium, Acacia auriculiformis, Leucaena leucocephala

INFLUENCE OF MYCORRHIZA ON SELECTED TREE SPECIES: Gliricidia sepium, Acacia auriculiformis, Leucaena leucocephala  

ABSTRACT  

The influence of mycorrhiza fungi inoculation on growth performance of Gliricidia sepium, Acacia auriculiformis, and Leucaena leucocephala was studied in a nursery experiment. The results obtained indicated the dependence of Gliricidia sepium, Acacia auriculiformis, and Leucaena leucocephala on mycorhizal symbiosis. Inoculation with mycorrhiza significantly improved the growth performance of Gliricidia sepium, Acacia auriculiformis, and Leucaena leucocephala. The height growth increased significantly by 65% after only three months while the nodulation and rootability increased by 70% and 50% respectively. Inoculation with mycorrhiza did not however cause an increase in nitrogen concentration in the plant tissues (stem, root and leaves).

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT ............................................................................................................................... ii CERTIFICATION ................................................................................................................... iii DEDICATION .......................................................................................................................... iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ....................................................................................................... v TABLE OF CONTENTS .......................................................................................................... vi LIST OF TABLES .................................................................................................................... ix LIST OF PLATES ..................................................................................................................... x TABLES IN APPENDICES ..................................................................................................... xi CHAPTER ONE ........................................................................................................................ 1 1.0 INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................... 1   1.1Background of the study ................................................................................................... 1 1.2 Statement of the problem ................................................................................................. 2 1.3 Objectives of the Study ..................................................................................................... 2 1.4 Justification ...................................................................................................................... 3 1.5 Scope of work................................................................................................................... 3 CHAPTER TWO ....................................................................................................................... 4 2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW ............................................................................................... 4                                                                                       vi  2.1 The test species and their importance ......................................................................... 4   2.1.1 Acacia auriculiformis........................................................................................... 4   2.1.2 Gliricidia sepium ................................................................................................. 5   2.1.3 Leucaena leucocephala ........................................................................................ 6 2.2 Meaning of Mycorrhiza ............................................................................................... 7 2.3 Types of Mycorrhiza ................................................................................................... 8 2.4 Effects of Mycorrhiza on the growth of trees ........................................................... 9 2.5 Mycorrhiza and Tree Physiology .............................................................................. 10   2.5.1 Leaf function ...................................................................................................... 11   2.5.2 Stem Function .................................................................................................... 12 CHAPTER THREE ................................................................................................................. 15 3.0 MATERIALS AND METHODS ....................................................................................... 15 3.1 The Study Site ................................................................................................................ 15 3.2 Procedure for Experimentation ....................................................................................... 15   3.2.1 Materials for experimentation .................................................................................. 15   3.2.2 Seed collection, Pre-treatment, and Sowing ............................................................. 16   3.2.3 Procedure for Mycorrhiza inoculation .................................................................... 16 3.3 Statistical Analysis of Data ............................................................................................. 17 CHAPTER FOUR .................................................................................................................... 22                                                                                       vii  4.0 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION ................................................................................... 22 4.1 RESULTS.................................................................................................................. 22 4.2 DISCUSSION ........................................................................................................... 28   4.2.1 Effects of Mycorrhiza application on the Growth characteristics of selected tree   legumes 28   4.2.2 Effects of Mycorrhiza application on the nodulation and portability of selected   tree legumes. ..................................................................................................................... 29   4.2.3 Effects  of  Mycorrhiza  application  on  the  nitrogen  concentration  in  the  leaf,   stem and roots of selected tree legumes. .......................................................................... 30 5.0 CONCLUSION ............................................................................................................. 31 REFERENCES ........................................................................................................................ 32 APPENDICES ......................................................................................................................... 38  

CHAPTER ONE 1.0  INTRODUCTION 1.1Background of the study

The successful establishment  of  most  tropical  woody  legumes  depends  on  their  ability  to  form symbiotic  associations  between  their  roots  and  beneficial  microorganisms rhizobia  and Mycorrhiza  (Stahl Hal.,  1988;    Barea  et  al.,  1990;  ). Different  types  of  mycorrhizal  fungi form associations with plant roots, but arbuscular Mycorrhiza are by far the most widespread type  of  Mycorrhiza  in  nature  (Harley  and  Smith,  1983)  and  are  also  the  most  commonly occurring on modulated nitrogen-fixing plants (Barea et al., 1992; Hayman, 1986; Roskoski et al., 1986) Over  2  billion ha of  degraded  land  soils  occur  worldwide  (Grainger  1988,)  Approximately 30% of the world's land areas are deserts (Hellden 1992) Inoculation of tree seedlings with mycrorihiza  fungi,  both  vesicular-arbuscular  mycrorihiza  (VAM)  and  ecto-mycorrhiza, significantly improve survival and juvenile growth (Hayman 1983,). Preliminary assessments also reveal that inoculation of tropical trees, particularly fast-growing nitrogen-fixing species, with VAM fungi will improve survival and juvenile growth (Osonubi et al. 1991)The choice of  hedgerow  trees  for an alley, cropping  has  always  been  site,  intercrop, and  situation-specific (Nair, 1993). Among the long list of multipurpose tree species that had been found useful in alley  cropping,  especially  in  the humid  to  sub-humid  lowland  tropics  of  West  Africa  three have  been  used  consistently  by  both  scientists  and  farmers  in  on-farm,  on-station  and adopting farmer’s plots. They are Leucaena leucocephala (Lam) de Witt, Gliricidia sepium (Jacq) Lam.  Irwin and  Barneby. However, this study will focus on three selected agro-forestry species; Leucaena leucocephala, Gliricidia sepium and Acacia auriculiformis.                                                                                        1  Little information is available about the role of VAM in the water relations of fast-growing nitrogen-fixing tree species  (Michelsen  &  Rosendahl  1990,  Osonubi et al. 1991). Drought, which  leads  to  wilting  of  leaf  tissue, reduces  biomass  production  in Acacia,  Leucaena  and Prosopis (Felker et al. 1983, Michelsen & Rosendahl 1990). Assessments in irrigated, fertile soil  suggest  that  the  water  relations  of Acacia,  Leucaena, and Prosopis species  are  altered following inoculation with selected  VAM (Huang et al. 1985,  Osonubi et al. 1991). Acacia seedlings exhibit drought tolerance characteristics such as osmotic adjustment (Michelsen & Rosendahl  1990),  whereas Leucaena species  appear  to  avoid  drought  (Samson  &Pacardo 1983, Huang et al 1985). 1.2 Statement of the problem Mycorrhiza  is  considered  such  a  fundamental  part  of  the  plant  that  most  species  could  not survive in nature without it.  Shinkafi,  2000  reported  that  most soils in  semiarid  zones  are marginal  and  deficient  in  nitrogen  and  phosphorus  which  are  principal  element  required  in plant growth and development. An adequate supply of mycorrhiza fungi that have been found to increase the drought tolerance of host plants  (Pandy, 2000; Osunubi and  Mulongy,  1991). This  also  promotes  root  health,  store  carbon  in the soil, and  glue  soil  particles  together  into  a healthful porous structure. It  is  not  yet  understood  how Leucaena  leucocephala,  Gliricidia sepium and Acacia  auriculiformis will  respond  to  mycorrhiza  inoculation  during  the  early growth stages.   1.3 Objectives of the study The general objective is to determine the effect of Mycorrhiza on three selected tree species. The specific objectives are to                                                                                       2    1. To  evaluate  the  influence  of  Mycorrhiza  application  on  the  root ability  (number  of       root, root length) and growth of the selected tree legumes.   2. To  investigate  the  effect  of  mycorrhizae  on  the  modulation  of  the  selected  tree       legumes.   3. To determine nitrogen storage in the leaf, stem, and roots of the selected tree legumes     after mycorrhizae application. 1.4 Justification The  use  of  Mycorrhiza  as  a  biological,  ecologically  safe  alternative  to  chemical  treatments has been gaining popularity.  Studies  have  indicated  plants  inoculated  to  develop  a Mycorrhiza association and are healthier than plants that are not.  The  use  of  Mycorrhiza allows  plants  to  become  more  efficient  in  water  and  nutrient  absorption,  drought-resistant, healthier, and less stressed The problem that occurs with soil is that as plants use up nutrients, synthetic  fertilizers are used, or new ground is  used for growing  that is  less  than desirable, that soil or growing medium needs to be re-stimulated. Mycorrhiza lives for just this purpose. The better the plant grows, the better they grow; Mycorrhiza fungi increase the root system several hundred to several thousand times.    1.5 Scope of work The  study  investigated  the  influence  of  mycorrhiza  inoculation on the  early  growth,  root development, modulation, and nutrient storage of Gliricidia sepium, Acacia auriculiformis and Leucaena leucocephala seedlings.   

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