Tropical Grasslands (2005) Volume 39, 18
Growth and survival of a range of Leucaena species in southern Brazil
PAULO EMÍLIO KAMINSKI, MARIA TERESA SCHIFINO-WITTMANN AND NILTON RODRIGUES PAIM
Departamento de Plantas Forrageiras e Agrometeorologia, Faculdade de Agronomia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Growth rates and survival of a range of 77 accessions of 21 species plus 2 hybrids from the Oxford Forestry Institute Leucaena germplasm collection were examined in Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil. Treatments were established in October 1996. Growth rate was determined in 2 experimental periods, before and after the 1997 winter. Observations on survival were performed in 2001, 5 years after field establishment of the collection. Mean growth rates of all accessions were 2.65 cm/week in the first and 5.53 cm/week in the second experimental period. From the original 77 accessions established, 56 survived, the percentage of surviving plants per accession ranging from 6–100%. Accessions with the best growth rate over the 2 periods were: L. hybrid 52/87, L. trichandra 4/91, 140/92, 3/91, 138/92, 128/92, 35/88, L. pallida 79/92, L. diversifolia 83/92, 126/92, 45/87, 104/94, 105/94, 46/87, 1/90, L. pulverulenta 22/86 and L. leucocephala ssp. leucocephala 133/92. All accessions were small leaflet types and, with few exceptions, had high survival rates. These accessions warrant further evaluation in southern Brazil for other attributes such as forage yield and nutritive value, before being extensively used for animal feeding.