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1 October 2010 Distribution, Growth, and Seed Germination Ability of Lead Tree (Leucaena leucocephala) Plants in Penghu Islands, Taiwan
Chen-Yu Hwang, Ling-Ming Hsu, Yow-Jang Liou, Ching-Yuh Wang
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The distribution, growth, and seed germination ability of the exotic lead tree in Penghu Islands, Taiwan, were studied. Survey results have shown that all lead tree plants existing throughout these islands belonged to the Hawaii type. Subsequently a comparison of germination requirements between this and the rare Salvador type, which distributes only in the island of Taiwan, was carried out. The objective of this research was to compare the germination requirements of the Salvador- and Hawaii-type lead tree plants. Lead trees in Penghu Islands have formed a pure forest with a height ranging from 2 to 4 m. All growth stages of the lead tree, i.e., vegetative, flowering, podding, and depodding stages, were found simultaneously in fall, but only vegetative and podding stages were observed in summer. Germination of both the Hawaii- and Salvador-type lead tree was evaluated under different environmental conditions, including temperature, pH, osmotic potential, burial depth, and lighting condition.The Salvador-type exhibited more than 60% seed germination after 14 d at temperatures between 20 and 35 C, whereas the seed germination of the Hawaii type increased from 20 to 60% with temperature increases from 20 to 35 C. The optimal temperature for seed germination of these two types of lead tree was 35 C. Increasing burial depth beneath the soil surface and darkness, as well as an osmotic potential below −0.4 MPa, also reduced seed germination. However, the germination of both types was not affected by pH ranging from 4.0 to 9.0. On the basis of the climatic and soil environment conditions in Penghu Islands, it is reasonable to predict that the summer season, in which lead tree seeds readily germinate on the ground or in shallow soils, is the optimal time for controlling this plant.

Nomenclature: Lead tree, Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de. Wit.

Chen-Yu Hwang, Ling-Ming Hsu, Yow-Jang Liou, and Ching-Yuh Wang "Distribution, Growth, and Seed Germination Ability of Lead Tree (Leucaena leucocephala) Plants in Penghu Islands, Taiwan," Weed Technology 24(4), 574-582, (1 October 2010).
Received: 11 March 2010; Accepted: 7 June 2010; Published: 1 October 2010

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