STUDY OF MORTALITY OF EUCALYPTUS PLAN- TATIONS IN THE MAHI RAVINES, CENTRAL GUJARAT

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1 ANNALS OF ARID ZONE Vl. 12, N.1 & 2, March & June, 1973 STUDY OF MORTALITY OF EUCALYPTUS PLAN- TATIONS IN THE MAHI RAVINES, CENTRAL GUJARAT BALVIR VERMA, BAKSHISH SINGH AND A. P. PATEL SOIL CONSFRVATION RESEARCH, DEMONSTRATION AND TRAINING CENTRE, VASAD (GUJARAT) Received n ) ABSTRACT Experimental plantatins f Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dean., (Bangalre) and Eucalyptus hybrid (Syn. Eucalyptus tereticrnis Sm., angalre) were raised in 1963 n the sandy alluvium f ravine lands alng the Mahi river at the farm f Sil Cnservatin Research, Demnstratin and Training Centre, Vasad (Gujar&t). The plantatins indicated stunted grwth in 1965, and sme trees started dying after grwing t a height f 5-6 meters. Symptms f chlrsis develped in the leaves f affected trees. Factrs like rainfall, sil misture, sil analysis and leaf analysis have been discussed in the cntext f the abve perfrmance f the plantatins. The sil was als examined fr the presence f any pathgens n the rts f the dying trees and in the assciated rt zne. The plantatin has suffered due t sil misture deficiency and lime induced chlrsis f the leaves. INTRODUCTION Gujarat has apprximately ha. f gullied lands n the alluvial sils alng the rivers Banas, Sabarmati, Mahi, Narmada and Tapi. In rder t stp further ersin, deep gullies need a cver f perennial vegetatin f fast grwing tree species and grasses. Eucalyptus spp. being themselves fast grwing are useful fr raising fuel and industrial wd plantatins. Therefre, in additin t Dendrcalamus strictus Nees., Dalbergia siss Rxb., Pngamia Pinnata P., Albizzia lebbek Ben., etc. Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehn., and Eucalyptus hybrid (hereafter referred as E. tereticrnis Sm.,-Pryr, 1966) were planted n gully humps with slpes 2-8 per cent n farm f the Centre (34 01 abve m.s.l.) t study their perfrmance in gullied areas. The paper describes the results f this study.

2 10 BALVIR VERMA, BAKSmSH SINGH AND A. P. PATEL LOCALITY FACTORS Bils: The sils were very deep and varied frm alluvial sandy lams t lamy sands. Lime ndules existed in different layers. A typical prfile is described belw. Depth (em) Descriptin 0-11 Light yellwish brwn (10 YR 6/4), lam, dry sft cnsistency, mderate granular structure, well drained, few rts, mderately alkaline (ph 8.3), lime cncretin-strng effervescence with HCI, clear bundary Pale brwn (10 YR 6/3), lam, dry sft cnsistency, mderate granular structure, well drained, few rts, strngly alkaline (ph 8.5)-strng effervescence with HCI, gradual bundary Yellw (10 YR 7/6), lam, dry sft cnsistency, wek massive structure, well drained, n rts, strngly alkaline (ph 8.6), lime colcretins-strng effervescence, diffuse bundary Light yellwish brwn (10 YR 6/4), lam, dry sft cnsistency, weak massive structure, well drained, n rts, mderately alkaline (ph 8.3), lime cncretin-strng effervescence with HCI, gradual bundary Very pale brwn (10 YR 7/4), lam, dry sft cnsistensy, weak massive structure, well drained, n rts, strngly alkaline (ph 8.5), lime cncretin, strng effervescence with HCI, gradual bundary. Calcium carbnate cntent in the sil varied between 15.0 and 20.0 per cent, lime ndules cntent between 2.0 and 10.0 per cent (sme lwer layers having 15.0 t 25.0 per cent), field misture capacity between 18.0 and 36.0 per cent, and rganic carbn between 0.05 and 0.5 pel cent. Ttal Nand P2 0 5 were lw, varying frm 0.05 t 0.07 per cent and % respectively. Ttal exchange capacity varied frm 13.0 m.e. t 30.0 m.e. per 100 gm. sil with Ca++ as the majr catin. Climate: The nrmal annual rainfall IS 815 mm Annual rainfall received fr the perid f study is given IU Table 1.

3 STUDY OF MORTAUTY OF EUCALYPTUS PLANTATIONS 11 Table 1. Rainfall Year Rainfall Nrmal Rainfall mm Deviatin frm nrmal (per cent) Rainy days per annum varied frm 40 t 70. Variatin in atmspheric temperature varied between minimum C (February, 1964) and maximum 38.90C (May, 1966) during the grwth perid. Dew frmatin was bserved but n frst. Vegetatin and Land use: The area was clsed since The natural vegetatin cnsisted f Aristida ryaleana Trin. et Rupr., Heylandia latebrsa DC., TePhrsea purpurea Pers., and scattered clumps f Erempgn fvelatus (Del) Stapf., Heterpgn cntrtus B. and Cenchrus ciliaris Linn. Shrubs like Zizyphus enplia Juss., Cassia auriculata Linn., Crtalaria spp. and Caltrpis prcera Linn. were als bserved. EXPERIMENT AL In July, 1963 tw plantatins f Eucalyptus tereticrnis Sm, (Bangalre) and Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehn. (Bangalre) were raised by planting seedlings raised in plythene bags in 60 em8 pits at 3 m2 spacing. Five gm 5 per cent aldrex dust was added t each pit against termite attack. Three weedings (August, September, December) were dne in 1963 and tw weedings (July, Octber) were dne in Twenty.five plants f each Eucalyptus spp. were selected at randm. Grwth bservatins were recrded annually. Prgressive survival percentage was recrded n the ba.sis f ttal nmber f plants. Ocular bservatins n branching, leaf clur and texture, cracking f barks and gummsis were made. Rt systems f affected plants were studied by pening 120 cm x 60 em x 120 cm pits. Sil aud leaf samples were cllected fr analysis. Leaves were plucked frm the middle prtins f the crwn and centr;\! pnid5 f the branches fr trees shwing identical physilgical symptms.

4 12 BALVm VERMA, BAKSIDSH SINGH AND A. P. PATEL Sil samples were analysed fr mechanical cmpsitin by Internatinal methd using Sdium hexametaphsphate as recmmended by Tyner (1939) and used by Verma and Patel (1969), ph, Calcium carbnate, ttal nitrgen and ttal P 2 0, by methds described by Piper (1950). The leaf analyses were als dne by methds described by Piper (1950). RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Grwth : Height, diameter grwth and per cent survival fr the Eucalyptus spp. are shwn in Fig. 1. Height and diameter grwth were quite fast during the first tw seasns after which the grwth stagnated in July-August Mean height and basal diameter recrded in August 1967 were 4.98 m and 6.40 em respectively. Mean survival was per cent. A few plants died during 1965, fllwed by mre prnunced mrtality in summer mnths (March t June) f 1966 and t '","0 '" t c 5.., 3 T"t.l A""",.l ra"'lli -.J Rainfall durln9 mnths I 2 september t December t* 500 \) f... '" 300 G9.3 ' " ;:) /00.". :JAN- D6C'W NOt'66 AtJ6"'? 800 t ';;00 e: E YEAR -. ( l1n.,h5 indicate l.jh nb5e/yattns t.k.en) ng1. GRWlll P RFRMAIICE AI'JO SURVlIJAL OF EUCALYPTUS SP Cl S."

5 STUDY OF MORTALITY OF EUCALYPTUS PLANTATIONS. 13 Stagnatin in grwth was accmpanied by chlrsis f leaves, fllwed by mrtality f the yung branches giving rise t secndary shts' and clustering f leaves near the branch tips. In the secnd seasn such plants grew epicarmic branches alng the stem with pale and thin leaves, fllwed by mrtality in the ht mnths. These plants als exhibited lngitudinal cracks and fissures fllwed by gummsis and canker frmatin in suth western side f the stem upt a height f I m frm the cllar. It may be due t excessive slar radiatin frm the suth western aspect. A unifrm brwnish t brnze tinge develped n leaves f sme trees. Such trees exhibited retardatin in grwth and lack f vigur. Affected trees were 70 per cent f the plantatin. Rt system and its Envirnment : N visual differences were bserved in the rts f healthy and affected trees. The rts had gne m deep, althugh the main rt system was cnfined t 75 em. depth. There was n definite tap rt develpment. At 50 em depth, the main rt branched int 3-5 rtlets (average diameter 2 cm) ging almst vertically dwnwards. The rt system belw 75 em depth was generally sparsely develped, lacking lateral rtlets r rt hair. In certain cases, the lateral rtlets develped sharp bends circumventing lime ndules (kankar). Thus, the trees did nt have a well grwn rt system. The descriptin fsi! prfile and rt study reveal that there was tlo calcareus pan inhibiting rt grwth. Termite and brer attack n the rts was nticed nly after the death f plants. N pathgenic rganism was lcated either in the sil, rt zne r n the stem and rts f tbe dead plants. RAINFALL PATTERN, SOIL MOISTURE AND SOIL NUTRIENTS Mst f the rainfall is received in July and August, when sufficient misture is available fr plant grwth. Sme shwers are received in September and rare light shwers are received in Octvber t December. Length f grwth perid in any year, therefre, extends frem July t December, the perid September t December being critical due t lw rainfall. Rainfall received during September t December is superimpsed ver ttal annual rainfall fr years f study in Fig. 1. The September t December rainfall was adequate in 1963 (289.2 mm), less in 1964 (103.6 mm) and very lw in 1965 (14.0 mm) and 1966 (17.4 mm). This is ne f the factrs leading t

6 14 BALVIR VERMA, BAKSHISH SINGH AND A. P. PATEL retarded grwth and high rate f mrtality. Ttal height and diameter increments were nly 1 m and I em respectively in the grwth perid 1965 t These are very lw figures fr Euca(yptus tereticrnis Sm. and Euca(yptus camaldulensis Dehn. Survival by August 1967 was nly 62.4 per cent. Sil misture data in January 1967, vide Table 2, gives an idea f the severe misture stress experienced by the plants in perids f lw rainfall. The misture cntent is even lwer than permanent wilting percentage upt 75 cm depth, where the main rt system was cnfined. Table 2. Sil Misture (January 1967) Plant and Sil depth Misture F.M. C. P. W. P. N. (cm) per cent per cent per cent Euca(yptus camaldulensis Dehn (1) Euca(yptus tereticrnis Sm., (14) The analysis f sil f the plantatin area is given in Table 3. The sil is mderately alkaline and nn-saline. Irn cntent is lw as cmpared t generally 2-20/ r 20,000 t 200,000 ppm in sils (Annymus 1968). Manganese and brn cntents are als lw, althugh available mlybdenum is high. Availability f irn in a lw irn cntaining sil is expected t be very small in the presence f excess f lime. This causes lime induced chlrsis ccurring in leaves f bth the Euca(yptus spp. Karschn (1959) has related irn chlresis f E. camaldulensis Dehn., t similar sil cnditins, and Kaul (1970) fund similar evidence fr mrtality f E. camaldulensis Dehn., in Western Rajasthan. Penfld and Willis (1961) have als reprted unsuitability f E. camaldulensis Dehn., fr calcareus sils in Jrdan.

7 STUI)Y OF MORTALITY OF EUCALYPTUSPLANTATIONS 15 Table 3. Sil Analysis Sp. Cn- Ttal Ttal Ttal Ttal Ttal Avl. Avl. Depth ph ducti- Nitr- Phs- irn Manga- Zinc Brn Mlybvity gen phates (ppm) nese (ppm) (ppm) denum mill i- per cent P 2 0 S (ppm) (ppm) ms/cm (20(JC) Ier cent 0-90 em em LEAF CHARACTERISTICS AND COMPOSITION The trees were gruped as per physilgical symptms. Leaves frm trees exhibiting identical symptms were analysed fr misture, crude ash, silica, nitrgen, phsphrus, irn, manganese, zinc, brn and mlybdenum. The leaf shape changed frm lancelate t elliptic with increasing misture stress (Fig.2).

8 t... <.0 - q cāi c<") ai c<") 0) - <.0 CO r-... ọ c <.0 <.0 CO c<") b.. Z. =.... l!') c5... <.0 l!') c ọ... - l!') S- O- ọ... co l!') s P... 8 Vl '"

9 STUDY OF MORTALITY OF EUCALYPTUS PLANTATIONS 17 It is evident that leaves f healthy trees cntain higher misture than f dying trees which indicates disturbed metablism. The healthy leaves als indicate. higher crude ash, silica, nitrgen and phsphrus. The chlrtic leaves (Ns. 4 and 5) and dead leaves (N.7) have lw irn, manganese and brn. Bhimaya and Kaul (1966) have btained similar trends fr Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehn. Taking int cnsideratin all the factrs discussed, it is evident that lw rainfall, lw misture hlding capacity f the sil and lime induced chlrsis f the plants are imprtan t causes f mrtaility f E. tereticrnis Sm. and E. camaldulensis Dehn. In Australia, the natural habitat f E. camaldulcnsis Dehn., is valley bttms subject t flding r alluvial land having ph (LeJup 1955 a). E. tereticrnis Sm. als prefers flat alluvial sils with irregular flding (Ldup 1955 b). It des nt like dry sils. Thus adequate misture regime and absence f excess lime in the sil appear t be imprtant rhiz-envirnmental cnditins fr the grwth f the tw Eucalyptus sp/j. CONCLUSION Misture stress in early establishment stages and lime induced chlrsis III the Eucalyptus spp. planted caused slw mrtality f the plants. Therefre, these tw Eucalyptus spp. are n<.)t suitable fr planting in the ravine area f Central Gujarat where misture stress cnditins prevail. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The authrs are grateful t Shri A. R. Bhaskaran, Ex-Sil Cnservatin Officer, Sil Cnservatin Research Demnstratin and Training Centre, Bellary fr getting the leaf samples analysed fr trace elements at the Centre's Labratry and t Dr. B. K. Bakshi, Officer-in-Charge. Frest Pathlgy Branch, Frest Research Institute and Clleges, Dehra Dun, fr examining sil and rt samples fr disease pathgens. They are als thankful t Shri R. N. Kaul, frmer Head, Divisin f Resurce Utilizatin Studies, Central Arid Zne Research Institute, Jdhpur. fr useful suggestins during the study. REFERENCES Annymus, Clrimetric Determinatin qf elements in trace quantities qf Sil and Plants. P. 10. Sil Cnservatin Research Demnstratin and Training Centre, Bellary (Cyclstyled)

10 18 BALVIR VERMA, BAKSHISH SINGH AND A. P. PATEL Bhimaya, C. P. and Kaul, R. N Levels f macr and micr elements in Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehn., (E. rstrata Schlecht). Nature (Lnd). 212 (5059) Karschn, R Irn chlrsis f Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehn., and its incidence in relatin t sil cnditins. Ilanth. N.3: Kaul, R. N Ind-Pakistan in "Affrestatin f Arid Znes". D. W. Junk N. V. Publishers, the Hague. Lelup, M Eucalypts fr Planting. F. A. O. Frestry and Frest Prducts Studies N. 11. F. A. O. f U. N., Rme: 123, 64, Lelup, M. 1955b. Tree Seed Ntes. p. 108, F. A. O. f the U. N., Rme. Penfld and Willis The Eucalypts. pp. 116, 375. Lenard Hill (Bks) Ltd., 9 Eden Street, N. W. 1 and Inter-Science publishers Inc., New Yrk. Piper, C. S Sil and Plant Analysis. The University f Adelaide, Adelaide. Pryr, L. D A reprt n past perfrmance and sme current aspects f the cultivatin f quick grwing species (mainly Eucalyptus) in India. Ind. Fr. 92 (10) : Tyner, E. H The use f sdium hexametaphsphate fr dispersin f sils fr mechanical analysis. Prc. Amer. Sc. Sil 4 : 4 Verma, B. and Patel, A. P Ercsin studies n sils f the Mahi ravines in Gujarat. Indian J. agric. Sci. 39 (6) :