Effect of sowing depth on performance of Quercus castaneifolia seedling at different levels of canopy cover.

Pakistan journal of biological sciences : PJBS

PubMedID: 19070045

Jalali , Gh A, Ali-Arab AR, Tabari M, Akbarinia M, Hosseini SM. Effect of sowing depth on performance of Quercus castaneifolia seedling at different levels of canopy cover. Pak J Biol Sci. 2007;10(7):1020-7.
Due to failure of oak (Quercus castaneifolia C.A. Meyer) natural regeneration, investigation on the best acorn sowing depth of this species under different levels of canopy cover is an important consideration in the Caspian forests, north of Iran. For this purpose, a study site with north-facing slope, clay-loam soil and 260-280 m a.s.l. was chosen in a mixed oak forest. The experiment was conducted as a Complete Randomized Split Plot Design (CRSPD) and the measurements made in one growing season in nine fenced circular 1000 m2 plots with three canopy densities (25, 50 and 75%) at three soil depths (5, 10 and 15 cm). The results revealed that under all canopy densities the maximum seedling emergence occurred at 5 cm depth. The highest emergence rate was appeared in June and the lowest in October. Neither canopy density nor sowing depth did prominently reduce seedling establishment, but a high quotient of mortality likely could be attributed to rodent populations, particularly Hystrix indica. Under all canopies, ground line diameter decreased with increasing sowing depth, the biggest being at 5 cm depth. Neither canopy density nor sowing depth influenced the seedling height. It can be concluded that the best performance of Q. castaneifolia seedling occurs at 5 cm sowing depth and 25% canopy cover.