Improving regeneration of mahogany: Techniques for vegetative propagation of four African mahogany species using leafy stem cuttings

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Regeneration to ensure sustainable production and conservation of mahogany species globally is considered very important to foresters, investors in plantation, conservationists and timber industries worldwide. Natural regeneration of the mahoganies has been found to be far less than the rate of exploitation hence strong efforts are being made to develop other methods to regenerate mahogany seedlings to augment the low natural replacement and to ensure sustainability. This study was commissioned to investigate the effect of rooting media (river-sand, top soil and a mix of the two (50:50 v/v) on the rooting ability of four mahogany species (Khaya grandifoliola, K. ivorensis, Entandrophragma angolense and E. utile) using non-mist propagators. We investigated the effects of the source of stem cutting within a shoot (top, middle and basal position) on the rooting ability of stem cuttings from the four species in river-sand. Roots per cutting, longest root length and rooting percentage differed significantly among species in all three rooting media. Rooting ability was greatest in K. grandifoliola, which exhibited the highest average rooting percentage (73 %), longest average single root (9.9 mm) and the most roots per cutting (4.9). Rooting percentage was higher in the Khaya species than in the Entandrophragma species in all three rooting media. The mixed medium had the highest rooting percentage and the highest number of roots per rooted cutting in the two Khaya species, while the topsoil media had the best rooting percentage in the Entandrophragma species. Rooting of the two Khaya species can be maximized using a mixture of river-sand and topsoil. Cutting position within a shoot had significant impact on rooting in all four species with rooting percentage being best from middle positions in all four species. However, length of longest root and the number of roots per rooted cutting varied between the middle and basal portions. The study provides useful information for vegetative propagation of leafy stem cutting of the four African mahogany species, which could contribute to regeneration and conservation of these important timber species in the tropics. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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New Forests