Tropical Grasslands (2006) Volume 40, 244–253

Effects of ingestion by cattle and immersion in hot water and acid on the germinability of rain tree (Albizia saman) seeds


1 Department of Pasture and Range Management, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta
2 Research and Development Centre, UNAAB
3 Animal Science Department, University of Ibadan, Nigeria


Two trials were conducted at the College of Animal Science and Livestock Production, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria, to determine the germination percentages of rain tree (Albizia saman) seeds, which had passed through the digestive tracts of 3 breeds of cattle (N’dama, Muturu and White Fulani); and been treated with hot water or sulphuric acid for periods of 5–20 minutes. Whole A. saman pods, containing an average of 1000 seeds, were fed to cattle and faeces were collected during the following 24, 48, 72 and 96 hours. Uningested seeds were also soaked in hot water at 30, 50, 75 and 100ºC for 5, 10, 15 and 20 minutes, as well as in sulphuric acid for similar periods. Germination tests were carried out on the various treated seeds plus untreated seeds in petri dishes.
On average, more seeds were recovered from N’dama (42.6%) and Muturu (45.5%) breeds of cattle than from White Fulani (28.3%) (P<0.05). More than 60% of the recovered seeds were in the 48-hour collection. The percentage germination of seeds increased from 31% (untreated seeds) to 45.4, 33.0, 49.2 and 59.1% at 24, 48, 72 and 96 hours following ingestion, respectively. Treating seeds with hot water at 30ºC for 20 minutes and 50ºC for 5–20 minutes increased germination percentage to 45–70%, with the highest result from the 50ºC for 15 minutes treatment. Treatment with hot water at 75ºC for more than 5 minutes reduced germination rate, while treatment with water at 100ºC for as little as 5 minutes virtually prevented germination. Acid treatment resulted in germination percentages of 85–100%.
The implications of these findings for introducing A. saman to new areas are discussed.

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