Multivariate Analysis of Seedling Survival and Establishment and Their Related Growth Attributes in Hammada elegans.


* Dept. of Plant Production . King Saud Univ. P.O. Box  2460 Riyadh 11451.

** Research  Institute of Environment and Natural Resources, KACST. P.O. Box 6086 Riyadh 11442.

Abstract. Hammada elegans is a widely distributed shrub in arid rangelands. It has a potential for reseeding. Identification of reliable and easy to measure growth attributes will help in monitoring seedling survival and establishment in reseeding projects. The aim of this study is to identify seedling growth attribute(s) that can be used to predict survival and establishment of H. elegans using simple correlation, factor analysis and path-coefficient analysis. Survival and establishment were highly and significantly correlated with most growth attributes. It was therefore difficult to identify any single attribute that has the greatest influence on survival and establishment using this approach. Factor analysis classified growth attributes into three groups of factors. Factor one accounted for 59% of variation and included survival and growth attributes measured post rainy seasons. Factor two included growth attributes during the rainy season while factor three included establishment only. This indicated that survival was associated with growth attributes measured post raining season while establishment was independent of the attributes studied using this approach. Path-coefficient analysis revealed a major direct effect of root depth and shoot weight on survival. There were also considerable indirect effects of shoot height and shoot weight on establishment. It is therefore concluded that growth measurements after the rainy season are good indicators of survival but further work is needed to identify predictors of establishment.