REGENERATION ISSUES AND INDICATORS OF SEED MATURITY IN MALLOTUS PHILLIPENSIS MUEL. ARG. IN THE TROPICAL FORESTS OF UTTARAKHANDAshish Tewari, Jitendra Bhatt, Amit Mittal, Nandan Singh and Krishna Kumar Tamta
The identification and characterization of seed maturation stage is important to obtain high seed vigor and germination. M. phillipensis, a medium sized, dioecious, under canopy, multipurpose tree species is commonly found up to 1500 m elevation in the tropical regions of Asia. The species produces fairly good seeds every year but regeneration of the species is very poor in natural condition. The study aimed at assessing regeneration status, sex ratio and seed maturity time for better management of the species. A two hectare area was selected for sex ratio determination studying vegetation associations and seed collection. Results indicated that mature male trees were prevalent at the site having a male: female ratio 2.8:1.0. Population structure of the species showed a declining trend. Maximum seed germination was in second week of May in both the years when seed moisture content ranged between 18.4±0.9 and 19.7±0.4 %. Germination percentage was low (<40%) in both years with high insect seed infestation (50%). Pre-dispersal seed infestation by insect and low germination could be the reasons for poor regeneration of the species in the natural stands.
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