EXPLORING INTRASPECIFIC PROVENANCE VARIATION IN SEED MORPHOLOGICAL TRAITS OF <em>ALBIZIA</em> <em>PROCERA</em> IN MID-HIMALAYAN REGION OF INDIA
Keywords:Albizia procera, seed source, analysis of variance, genotypic and phenotypic variation
Albizia procera is a multipurpose leguminous tree that not only fixes atmospheric nitrogen but also provides wood for a variety of purposes, nutritious fodder for livestock, traditional medicine and shade for tea plantations. The leaves are used to cure ulcers and have insecticidal effects, and the bark contains tannins and a reddish gum. Consequently, it can be considered a good choice for reforestation projects and agroforestry systems. However, insufficient supply of high quality seeds is a major hurdle that comes in the way of producing healthy nursery planting stock of this tree species. Therefore, there is a need to identify quality seed source and provenances for successful tree improvement and forest regeneration program. Keeping this in view, the study was planned to investigate the provenance variation with respect to pod, seed and germination behavior of Albizia procera. Pods along with seeds were collected from different provenances of mid-Himalayan region. Measurements were made with respect to morphological characters of pods as well as seeds and germination behavior. The data thus collected were subjected to appropriate statistical analysis i.e. analysis of variance technique and genetic variability studies. Results revealed that there occur considerable morphological and physiological variations among provenances for pod and seed characters as well as for germination response of Albizia procera. Pods and seeds from the Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun seed source were superior as compared to other provenances for all the traits, and therefore, can be considered for plantation and afforestation programs.