Provision of Nutrients to Young Santalum album L. by Different Host Species

K.P. Millaniyage, S.M.C.U.P. Subasinghe, D.S. Hettiarachchi

Abstract


Due to the increasing demand and market price established for its valuable fragrant essential
oil produced in the heartwood, Santalum album is subjected to over-exploitation for a long
period in Sri Lanka. Since it is a hemi-parasitic tree which has the ability of absorbing certain
nutrients from other host tree species via root connections, a comprehensive understanding of
S. album-host relationship is of major importance in both commercial and conservation
perspectives.
Therefore, the present study was conducted to determine the ability of supplying nitrogen,
phosphorous, potassium and magnesium to young S. album plants by different host species. A
S. album-host trial plantation located in Balangoda of Rathnapura District belonging to WM3
agro-ecological zone was used for this purpose. This trial consisted of 20 different
combinations of two hosts of Sesbenia grandiflora, Gliricidia sepium, Grevillea robusta,
Calliandra calothyrus, Erythrina variegate, Acacia auriculiformis and Coffea arabica per S.
album. Leaf samples from S. album plants were collected for five times, from November
2012 to October 2014. Total nitrogen content was determined using Micro-Kjeldhal method
while the potassium and magnesium levels were determined using atomic absorption
spectroscopy for the collected leaves. Phosphorous content was analysed by colourimetric
determination using a spectrophotometer.
According to the results, G. sepium/S. grandiflora host combination provided the highest
nitrogen content. Two G. robusta plants provided the highest potassium level while the host
combination of G. sepium/G. robusta provided the highest phosphorous content for S. album.
The highest magnesium content was observed in the combination with two G. sepium plants.
However, One-way ANOVA did not indicate any significant difference for the tested
nutrients in S. album leaves.


Keywords: Santalum album, Host species, Leaf nutrients, Haustorial connections


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Proceedings of International Forestry and Environment Symposium, Sri Lanka. Published by Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura