Germination and initial growth of tree seedlings on deforested and natural forest soil at Dulhazara, Bangladesh
The destruction of natural forest is increasing due to urbanization, industrialization, settlement and for the agricultural expansion over last few decades, and studies for their recovery need to be undertaken. With this aim, this comparative study was designed to see the effects of deforested soil on germination and growth performance of five different tree species. In the experiment, five species namely Gmelina arborea, Swietenia mahagoni, Dipterocarpus turbinatus, Acacia auriculiformis and Syzygium grande were germinated for six weeks on seedbeds and raised in pots (25cm diameter, 30cm height), that were filled with two soil and type of land use: deforested and adjacent natural forest of Dulhazara Safari Park. Growth performance of seedling was observed up to 15 months based on height, collar diameter and biomass production at the end. Our results showed that the germination rate was almost similar in both type of land uses. Height growth of D. turbinatus, G. arborea and S. mahagoni seedlings was almost similar and A. auriculiformis and S. grande lower in defor- ested soil compared to natural forest soil, while collar diameter of A. auriculiformis, G. arborea, S. grande and S. mahagoni lower and D. turbinatus similar in deforested soil compared to natural forest soil. After uprooting at 19 months, S. mahagoni seedlings were showed significantly (p≤0.05) higher oven dry biomass, D. turbina- tus and A. auriculiformis higher, while G. arborea showed significantly (p≤0.05) lower and S. grande almost similar oven dry biomass in deforested soil compared to natural forest soil. Oven dry biomass of D. turbinatus seedlings at 19 month age in deforested soil was 21.96g (n=5) and in natural forest soil 18.86g (n=5). However, differences in germination rate and growth performance for different tree species indicated that soil are not too much deteriorated through deforestation at Dulhazara and without any failure such deforested lands would be possible to bring under forest through plantation.
Keywords: deforestation, growth performance, dry biomass, desiccators, dulhazara safari park, bangladesh