Effects of pre-sowing treatments on the germination and early growth performance of Pouteria campachiana
Pouteria campachiana is a multipurpose fruit tree with diverse economic and medicinal significance. However, seed dormancy and low germination are problems for its use in agro-forestry practices. Investigations were carried out on the effect of pre-treatment on the germination and early seedling growth of P. campachiana. Germination was observed in seeds pre-treated with soaking and mechanical scarification in the 5th week after sowing, while untreated seeds germinated in the 7th week. Comparison between mechanically scarified and unscarified P. campachiana seeds showed no significant difference (P > 0.05). The study showed that soaking P. campachina seeds in cold water was not good for its germination, with a significant difference between soaked seeds and non soaked seeds. Percentage germination of seeds not soaked was 62.2% compared to 26.7% and 24.4% recorded for seeds soaked for 24 h and 48 h, respectively. The application of different pre-treatments, however, had no significant (P > 0.05) influence on the mean shoot length, collar diameter, and the number of leaves of P. campachiana. The study concludes that mechanical scarification improves germination of P. campachiana while soaking with cold water has a negative influence on seed germination.