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Distribution, Growth, and Seed Germination Ability of Lead Tree (Leucaena leucocephala) Plants in Penghu Islands, Taiwan

  • Chen-Yu Hwang (a1), Ling-Ming Hsu (a1), Yow-Jang Liou (a1) and Ching-Yuh Wang (a1)

Abstract

The distribution, growth, and seed germination ability of the exotic lead tree in Penghu Islands, Taiwan, were studied. Survey results have shown that all lead tree plants existing throughout these islands belonged to the Hawaii type. Subsequently a comparison of germination requirements between this and the rare Salvador type, which distributes only in the island of Taiwan, was carried out. The objective of this research was to compare the germination requirements of the Salvador- and Hawaii-type lead tree plants. Lead trees in Penghu Islands have formed a pure forest with a height ranging from 2 to 4 m. All growth stages of the lead tree, i.e., vegetative, flowering, podding, and depodding stages, were found simultaneously in fall, but only vegetative and podding stages were observed in summer. Germination of both the Hawaii- and Salvador-type lead tree was evaluated under different environmental conditions, including temperature, pH, osmotic potential, burial depth, and lighting condition. The Salvador-type exhibited more than 60% seed germination after 14 d at temperatures between 20 and 35 C, whereas the seed germination of the Hawaii type increased from 20 to 60% with temperature increases from 20 to 35 C. The optimal temperature for seed germination of these two types of lead tree was 35 C. Increasing burial depth beneath the soil surface and darkness, as well as an osmotic potential below −0.4 MPa, also reduced seed germination. However, the germination of both types was not affected by pH ranging from 4.0 to 9.0. On the basis of the climatic and soil environment conditions in Penghu Islands, it is reasonable to predict that the summer season, in which lead tree seeds readily germinate on the ground or in shallow soils, is the optimal time for controlling this plant.

La distribución, el crecimiento y la habilidad de germinación de la Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de. Wit., se estudiaron en las Islas Penghu, Taiwán. Los resultados de la muestra revelaron que todas las plantas de Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) existentes en estas islas pertenecen al tipo Hawaii. Subsecuentemente se realizó una comparación de los requisitos de germinación entre este árbol y el de la tipo denominado Salvador, especie rara que se encuentra solamente en la Isla de Taiwán. El objetivo de esta investigación fue comparar los requisitos de germinación de las plantas Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de los tipos Salvador y Hawaii. Las plantas de esta especie en las Islas Penghu han formado un bosque uniforme con una altura que varía de 2 a 4 m. Todas las etapas de crecimiento de la Leucaena, ejemplos: vegetativa, florecimiento, formación y apertura de las vainas, se observaron simultáneamente en el otoño, pero sólo el estado vegetativo y el de formación de la vaina se observaron en el verano. La germinación de ambos tipos de plantas, se evaluó bajo diferentes condiciones ambientales, incluyendo temperatura, pH, potencial osmótico, profundidad de siembra y condiciones de luz. El tipo Salvador mostró más del 60% de germinación de semillas después de 14 días, a cualquier temperatura entre 20 y 35 C, mientras que la del tipo Hawaii se incrementó de un 20 a un 60% en respuesta los aumentos en la temperatura a partir de los 20 hasta los 35 C. La temperatura óptima para la germinación de las semillas de estos dos tipos de Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) fue de 35 C. También se observó una disminución en la germinación al incrementar la profundidad de siembra y la oscuridad así como mantener el potencial osmótico por debajo de −0.4 MPa Sin embargo, la germinación en ambos tipos no fue afectada por la variación del pH de 4.0 a 9.0. Basado en las condiciones climáticas y de suelo en las Islas Penghu, es razonable predecir que la estación de verano en la cual las semillas de Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) germinan fácilmente sobre la tierra o en suelos poco profundos, es la temporada óptima para controlar esta planta.

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Corresponding author

Corresponding author's E-mail: cywang@nchu.edu.tw.

References

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Keywords

Distribution, Growth, and Seed Germination Ability of Lead Tree (Leucaena leucocephala) Plants in Penghu Islands, Taiwan

  • Chen-Yu Hwang (a1), Ling-Ming Hsu (a1), Yow-Jang Liou (a1) and Ching-Yuh Wang (a1)

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