Applied Ecological Studies on Eucalyptus microtheca F. V. M. in the Gezira of the Sudan

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Ahmed, Ahmed El Houri
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University of Khartoum
When the Gezira Scheme was started in 1927 almost all the natural tree vetegation was cleared. This led to an acute shortage of fuelwood and building poles. As the indigenous tree species are slow in their growth, attention was focused on fast growing exotic species. Eucalyptus microtheca, an indigenous of Australia, was introduced to the Gezira in 1932. The species seeds regularly and has a satisfactory germination percentage. The germination behaviour of the seeds is affected by the locality and the storage period. The emergence of seedling from the soil is largely affected by the locality. The germination of seeds in Petri – dishes does not seem to help in predicting their emergence from the soil in the nursery. The use of polythene tubes as plant containers proved to be a good technique for raising seedling of this species in the nursery. Transparent polythene tubes proved to be better than black ones. Watering every four days, at the nursery stage, produced seedlings that are higher in shoot length and in weight. The use of fertilizers at the nursery stage failed to promote the growth of seedlings. At the field stage, the species withstands successfully the period of no irrigation (March - July). Fortnightly watering during October, proved to be essential for good establishment, during the first year, but is of no critical importance thereafter. The shoot height growth is a direct function of the number of the total yearly waterings irrespective of their distribution. Water regimes exceeding 12 – 13 per year appeared to produce superior growth. For a good coppice yield, the best time for felling appears to be October, November, December and February in that order. The hot dry months of March and April appear to have an adverse effect on coppice production. The species is easy to handle at the nursery stage, proved to be successful under the Gezira conditions and meets the needs of the population of the Gezira for firewood and building poles. Its growth is excellent and economically successful
Sudan, microtheca, Ecological Studies