Introduction: What conservation problem or question does your study address?Symplocos cochinchinensis (Lour.) S. Moore and Acronychia pedunculata (L.) Miq. are two pioneer tree species that can be used for restoration of degraded lower montane sites in Sri Lanka. However, scarcity of seedlings of these species hinders their use in restoration work. This study was conducted to investigate the possibility of using vegetative propagation to raise nurseries of these native tree species for restoration programs.
Methods: What were the main research methods you used?The effect of potting media (sand only, sand + topsoil+ leaf litter (1:1:1), sand + coir dust + compost (1:1:1) for experiments carried out in a semi glass house; in addition forest soil + sand (1:1) and forest soil only: for experiments conducted at Knuckles Forest Reserve, Sri Lanka), liquid media (distilled water and three concentrations of Albert’s solution; 1, 2 and 3 gl-1) and the use of propagators were tested on the rooting of these species using softwood and hardwood cuttings. The parameters assessed were the percentage survival of plants and the root biomass.
Results: What are your most important results?None of the cuttings of A. pedunculata survived. Highest percentage survival (30%) and average root biomass (0.004 g) was recorded for the softwood cuttings (SW) grown in sand only medium for S. cochinchinensis. The average root biomass was significantly higher in both cutting types inside propagators, however SW had the highest percentage survival (70%). In distilled water, SW showed the highest percentage survival (90%) and average root biomass (0.026 g).
Discussion: What are your important discussion points and what is the relevance of your results to conservation (if any)?S. cochinchinensis can be propagated using sand only medium inside propagators or in distilled water inside semi glass houses. Nurseries of this species can be established using these vegetative propagation methods. Field trails must be conducted to check the establishment of rooted stem cuttings at degraded sites in Knuckles Forest Reserve . Rooting failure in A. pedunculata may be due to the sclerenchymatous tissue which surrounds the vascular cylinder.