Pericopsis elata is a tall tree of high commercial value within moist and dry semi-deciduous West African forests. It is threatened with extinction, mainly due to overexploitation. Information on the reproductive phenology of such threatened but highly demanded trees remains crucial for taking conservation measures. This study examined the reproductive phenology of 50 individual trees relative to climatic variables, within three selected forests in Ghana. Period and intensity of the various phenophases of trees under study were monitored and scored. The effects of planting distance on early growth performance in plantation were also evaluated. Leaf flushing in the species across all sites occurred at the onset of the wet season (April-July). This was closely followed by flowering between August - September. Fruiting and seed dispersal occurred between October - February. Seed dispersion across all sites was observed for approximately 3 months (November-January), when mean monthly maximum temperatures exceeded 30oC. It was concluded that it is the ideal season for seed collection. The findings further suggest that although increasing in the species reduced survival in the first two years, planting distance of 4mx4m will result in a higher periodic annual height increment, indicating faster primary growth of seedlings.
Key words: Pericopsis elata, reproductive phenology, leaf flushing, flowering, fruiting and planting distance.
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