SEED GERMINATION AND SEEDLING FITNESS OF ECONOMICALLY IMPORTANT TREE SPECIES OF MEGHALAYA, NORTH-EAST INDIAShairi Nongbri, Krishna Upadhaya and H.N. Pandey
The present study was carried out to understand seed germination behaviour of two economically important tree species (Myrica esculenta and Castanopsis purpurella) and the seedling fitness under different microsites i.e., open, periphery and interior of Swer and Sohrarim forest of Meghalaya, north east India. The germination percentage under laboratory condition was 48 % in M. esculenta and 30 % in C. purpurella. The seeds of C. purpurella became non-viable after three months of storage whereas, there was 68 % viability in M. esculenta after two years of storage. The seedling survival of M. esculenta was high in the open microsite both at Swer (90 %) and Sohrarim (80 %) whereas, the survival of C. purpurella was high (70 % to 95 %) in all the three microsites of both the forests. The high RGRH, RGRLA and RGRW of both the species during spring and rainy season may be attributed to greater nutrients availability, high soil moisture content and warmer temperature. The height and total dry weight of M. esculenta and C. purpurella was high in Sohrarim as compared to Swer forest. Results of the study indicates that while light seems to be an important factor for growth and survival of M. esculenta seedlings, the growth and survival of C. purpurella under all the three microsites suggests that the species can thrive well under both high and low light intensities.
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