Publisher: Bachudo Science Co. Ltd

Effect of A Batericide-Fungicide Additive On The Rates of Decomposition of Mature Fresh Leaves of Four Woody Trees Species

I. Ojating
KEYWORDS: Decomposition, Fresh Leaves, woody Trees


A 3 X 4 factorial experimental design in a randomized complete block (RCB) with 3 replications was used to investigate the influence of a potent fungicide-bactericide, Mercuric chloride (Hgcl), on the rates of decomposition of matured fresh leaves of 2 evergreen trees species, Dacryodes edulis and lrvingia gabonensis, and 2 deciduous species, Gmelina arboea and Ficus exasperata. The experiment, which lasted for 90 days, was performed under the canopy of the trees in the Arboretum of the University of Calabar, Nigeria. The Hgcl si9nificantly suppressed the rates of decomposition of the leaves Thus the higher mean percent decomposition of 44.66 of the leaves. Thus the higher mean per cent decomposition of 44.66 of the leaves of all the four trees at O.Og Hgcl differed significantly (P < 0.05) from the other individual leaves in their mean percentage decomposition rates. Thus Dacryodes edulis with 0.004 mean per cent decomposition differed significantly from lrvingia gabonensis with the mean of 6.002, Gme/ina arborea with a mean decompositiOn per cent of 99.50 differed from Ficus exasperate leaves whose mean rate of decomposition was 98.10%. On the whole, the leaves of the evergreen trees species - Dacryodes edulis and frvingia gabonensis having a common mean per cent of 3.003 decomposed significantly slower than species which had sIgnificantly higher mean percent decomposition of 98.8. It is recommended that for greater humus accumulation, evergreen trees species should be used to establish a forest stand. However, for soil fertility enrichment and maintenance within a short period of time in a stand, deciduous trees species are better since their leaves decompose faster even in the presence of a potent fungicide/bactericide in the soil. Thisensures a quick turn over of soil nutrients.

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