Growth response and gall formation of Milicia excelsa C. C. Berg seedlings grown on organically amended soil during Phytolyma fusca Walker (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) attack
Keywords:Iroko, Organic manure, Gall-forming psyllid, Soil amendment
Propagation of Milicia excelsa is severely threatened by a gall-forming psyllid (Phytolyma fusca), which causes stunted growth and could result in plant mortality. This study evaluated the effect of different organic manures on the growth and gall formation of M. excelsa seedlings during P. fusca attack. Six month-old uniformly growing seedlings were potted in topsoil amended with poultry droppings (T2), cattle dung (T3), and pig faeces (T4), at a mixture ratio of 2:1 (5kg topsoil: 2.5 kg manure), while untreated topsoil served as control (T1). The experiment was conducted using a completely randomised design and each treatment was replicated 60 times. Data were obtained on seedling height, collar diameter, number of leaves and gall formation (number of galls and number of ruptured galls), for 22 weeks. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and ANOVA at p<0.05 level of significance. Seedlings treated with T4 had the highest height (46.21±2.59 cm) while T1 had the least (23.4±0.82 cm). Seedlings in T2 treatment had the highest collar diameter (0.77±0.03 cm), followed by T4 (0.74±0.04 cm) and T3 (0.67±0.02 cm), while T1 had the least (0.46±0.02cm). Cattle dung treated seedlings (T3) had the highest number of leaves (10.48±1.32) while T1 had the least (6.5±0.83). Gall formation was observed after 12 weeks, and T2 seedlings had the highest number of ruptured galls (1.70±1.17) while T1 had the least (1.50±1.94). Soil amendment with organic manure improved seedling growth of M. excelsa and could not control P. fusca attack.
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