Publisher: National Agricultural Research Projects

Influence of Tree Characters and Climate On Litter Characteristics In Daniellia Oliveri (ROLFE) Hutch. & Dalziel

Oyedeji, S, Animasaun, Da, Ogunkunle, Co, Anibijuwon, If, Fatoba, Po
KEYWORDS: Climate, Daniellia oliverii , litterfall, nutrient cycling, savanna, tree characters.


Litter production and decomposition rates have great importance in maintaining the fertility of the soil. The study was carried out to determine the relationship tree characters (girth size, canopy radius, tree height, leaf area and number of primary branches), litter production and quality, and climatic variables among stands of Daniellia oliveri (Rolfe) Hutch. & Dalziel growing in University of Ilorin campus. Twelve trees of different girth sizes were selected and their physiognomic characters measured. Litter samples (leaves and twigs) were collected from the stands on monthly basis (January to May) using 1 m2 traps. The collected litters were air-dried, ground and analysed for carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium using standard methods. Rainfall and temperature data were collected during the sampling months. Girth size range was 0.32 – 0.67 m. Tree height range was 13.90 – 31.81 m. Primary branches range was 3 - 16, crown radii was 2.5 - 5.2 m and leaflet area between 24.62 cm 2 and 90.90 cm 2.  Higher leaf litter was recorded in January and February, but twigs were more in the other months. Leaf and twig litters positively correlated with girth size (r = 0.572 and 0.614 respectively), but the former also correlated with crown radii (r = 0.834). Carbon, calcium and magnesium contents in leaves and twigs were lower in May compared to January, but reverse trend were observed for nitrogen and phosphorus. The number of rain (rainy days) negatively correlated with total monthly litter (r = -0.291). The study concluded that climatic conditions influence tree characters, which in turn affect litterfall and nutrient returns to the soil

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