In most Coffea arabica growing areas of Ethiopia, A. gummifera, C. africana and M. ferruginea are among the commonly used shade trees. The role of these species on germination of C. arabica seed has been little studied. This study assessed the impacts of these tree species leaf litter on C. arabica seed germination. The leaf litter was collected from mature standing and naturally growing plants, air dried and ground. Seed from C. arabica plant was collected and prepared. The ground leaf litter of each species was uniformly mixed with nursery bed soil in proportion of 50, 100 and 200 g m-2. Complete random block design with three replications were applied. Hundred undamaged seeds were randomly chosen and sown in uniform spacing within each plot (1 m-2). Rate of seed germination was recorded after 60, 90 and 120 days from the sowing date. Variations were analyzed using LSD method for one way ANOVA at alpha 0.05. The result showed that after 60 days of sowing, a significantly higher germination was observed in Ag2, Ag3, Ca1, Mf2 and Mf3 compared to the control. After 90 and 120 days of sowing, no significant variation was observed between control and treatments. From the results, it was concluded that leaf litter of the studied tree species stimulate germination of C. arabica seed in field condition, however, the level is not linearly related with germination rate. In situations where early, uniform and high germination rates are required, leaf litter of these species, preferably: Ag1, Ag3, Ca1, Mf2 and Mf3, can be used.
Yared Girma and Kebede Wolka, 2012. Effects of Albizia gummifera, Millettia ferruginea and Cordia africana Leaf Litter on the Germination of Coffea arabica L. Seed. International Journal of Agricultural Research, 7: 315-323.