Journal of
Horticulture and Forestry

  • Abbreviation: J. Hortic. For.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9782
  • DOI: 10.5897/JHF
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 302

Full Length Research Paper

Seed germination, storability and moisture sorption isotherms of the endangered African rosewood (Pterocarpus erinaceus)

Amponsah J.O.
  • Amponsah J.O.
  • CSIR-Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, P. O. Box UP 63 Kumasi, Ghana.
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Asomaning J.M.
  • Asomaning J.M.
  • CSIR-Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, P. O. Box UP 63 Kumasi, Ghana.
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Gakpetor P.M.
  • Gakpetor P.M.
  • CSIR-Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, P. O. Box UP 63 Kumasi, Ghana.
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Gaveh E.A.
  • Gaveh E.A.
  • Department of Horticulture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, PMB Kumasi, Ghana.
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  •  Received: 15 November 2021
  •  Accepted: 05 January 2022
  •  Published: 31 March 2022

Abstract

African rosewood (Pterocarpus erinaceus) is an endemic, highly exploited and endangered tree species in arid and semi-arid zones of West Africa. Identifying optimum conditions for seed propagation and storage is critical for its conservation. This study assessed the effects of four pretreatments on seed germination and seedling vigour. Varying temperature, duration and packaging on storage deterioration were also evaluated for 12-months. Moisture sorption isotherms at 20, 25 and 30°C were characterized by equilibrating seed samples on series of lithium chloride (LiCl) solutions, generating relative humidity (RH) range of 3-95%. Data were fitted to four mathematical models; Chung Pfost, Halsey, Henderson and Oswin to determine the most suitable for describing the water activity (aw), equilibrium moisture content (EMC) and temperature relationship. Results indicate that whole fruit sowing reduced germination capacity by more than 50% compared with extracted seeds at 5% probability level. Seeds stored at -10°C recorded the lowest rate of seed deterioration compared with ambient storage, regardless of packaging. Moisture sorption isotherms for rosewood showed a sigmoid (S-shaped) profile characteristic of orthodox seeds, and best described by the Henderson equation. Our findings highlight the need for adopting improved seed extraction technology and orthodox seed storage protocols for P. erinaceus conservation.

Key words: seed germination, storability, African rosewood, sorption isotherms.