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Written Paper

Effect of insect infestation on viability of Acacia species as analysed by X-ray technique  [2003]

Kiamba, J.K.(Kenya Forestry Research Institute)

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Some twelve Acacia species were germinated in laboratory and x-radiography examination carried on the seeds. The species under investigation were Acacia nilotica,A. senegal,A.mellifera,A .melanoxylon, A. zanzibarica,A. nubica,A. Horrida,A. brevis pica, A~ polyacantha,A.xanthopholea, A . tortilis and A. abyssinica. Germination commenced in 6 days and was largely complete in 21 days. A.zanzibarica, A. horrida and A.nubica gave the highest final germination whilst A.polyacantha, A.senegal and A.brevispica gave the lowest values. Comparing the relationship between percentage of filled seeds (based on x-ray data), and percentage germination, it was realized that not all filled seeds germinated and this can be attributed to a possible non-fertilisation during seed development. This would therefore lead to lack of viability. Using Friedman Test on fmal geffilination, there was no significant difference (P=O.325) in the overall germination of the twelve species. There was also no significant difference (P=O.O96) in germination rate of the species. Using a general linear model, there was no significant difference (P=O.593) in the final germination of the twelve species. The test also showed there was no significant difference(P=O.O58) in the germination rate of the species. A Pearson correlation of percentage germination and percentage filled seeds of all the twelve species (P=O.469) reveled there was no significant difference on the germinants realised.It suffices
to say that all conditions remaining uniform and scarification being performed as appropriate, Acacias don't pose germination problems. Another observation made was that no all filled seeds germinated and this may be attributed to lack of viability in some seeds, a problem which might have occurred during fertilization. It is worth emphasing therefore that x-ray techniques showing fullness of a seed does not necessarily mean that the seed(s) will germinate.