Growth and biomass production of Casuarina equisetifolia and Casuarina junghuhniana in Quartz sand dump
Ponnambalam, A.; Sugavanam, V.; Rajendran, K.; Devaraj, P.
Advances in Forestry Research in India 21: 64-78
A Casuarina species trial was conducted in a quartz sand dump (a reject dump from a cement manufacturing company mining for limestone) at Madukkarai near Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, India, to determine species suitability for afforestation. The dump consisted of rock debris mixed with some finer particles of sand (85.2%), silt (6.8%) and clay (8.0%); the pH was 8.9, organic matter content 0.3% and moisture content 0.39%. Six-month-old Casuarina equisetifolia and Casuarina junghuhniana seedlings and rooted cuttings of Casuarina equisetifolia were planted in 30 cm 3 [30x30x30 cm] pits spaced at 1xl m. Decomposed coir pith (2 kg) was added for improving the soil texture and water holding capacity. Growth measurements - height, DBH (diameter at breast height), biomass production, accumulated litter and vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization - were recorded 2 years after planting. Casuarina equisetifolia seedlings performed better in growth, biomass and litter production than the Casuarina junghuhniana seedlings and rooted cuttings of Casuarina equisetifolia.