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VARIATONS IN THE FEATURES OF FRUITS AND SEEDS OF "BALSO" (Ochroma

pyramidale (Cav.) Urban) IN THREE (3) PROVENANCES FROM WESTERN PLAINS


AND ONE (1) FROM THE STATE OF TACHIRA IN VENEZUELA.Error! Marcador no
definido.
JUDITH PETIT ALDANA1
ABSTRACT
A study on the variation of the features of fruits and seeds of Ochroma pyramidale.
Seven O. pyramidale plantations in 7 sites of the Forest Reserves of Caparo, Ticoporo
and the "Caimital" Forest in the State of Barinas and La Fria, State of Tachira, were
sampled. Ten tree/sites have been selected and 5-10 fruits/trees were collected. The
width , length and weight of the fruits and number of seeds were measured, the seeds
were quantified and their germination was tested using five(5) pre-germinating
treatments. Variations at the level of provenances and intra-provenances have been
found. These variations referred to the width,length and weight of fruits, the highest
values were found in La Fria (2.68 cm;21.98 cm and 35.55 gr, respectively).Results show
there exists a possible genetic differentiation between the populations being studied. The
number of seeds/fruit showed differences at intra-sites level. There is a greater number
of seeds/fruit in La Fria (868 seeds/fruit). There is a high association between the
number of seeds/fruit and the weight seeds/fruit (r=0.9193). Differences at the level of
provenances, intra-provenances and treatments have been found in the germination
tests. The highest germination occurred in La Fria (76%) and the best treatment was
soaking of seeds in hot water at an initial temperature of 60C and then the seeds were
cooling for two hours.
KEY WORDS. Ochroma pyramidale,variation, seeds, genetic differentiation.

INTRODUCTION

Coordinator in the Research Field. Instituto Forestal Latinoamericano (IFLA). Apartado 36,
Mrida 5101-A, Venezuela.

The Balso (Ochroma pyramidale) (Cav.) Urban) occurs among the species of the
secondary forest of forestry value. In Venezuela, this species has become economically
important in the last few years, therefore different studies in the forestry and industrial
fields have been started. This study refers to the aspects concerning the flowering,
fructification and seed production for the planning of seed collection in order to secure
the supply of seeds for plant production. It will also be useful for later tree breeding
studies. where artificial fecundation and genetic tests activities will be included.
The purpose of this study is to determine the variation existing between the fruits and
seeds of O. pyramidale in seven (7) different sites in the States of Barinas and Tchira
(Venezuela), and thus procuring information on the yields through the analysis of the size
and weight of fruits and number, size, weight and germination of seeds, in order to
contribute to the knowledge of this species in Venezuela.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Sampling
A semi random sampling has been carried out, since it was necessary to find sites with
an existing stand of at least ten (10) trees.
Sites were located in four (4) places, three (3) in the State of Barinas and one (1) in the
State of Tchira. The sampled sites were as follows: The University Forest "El Caimital",
Forest Reserve of Ticoporo, Forest Reserve of Caparo in the State of Barinas and the
Freeway La Fra-San Cristobal in the State of Tchira.
In each place, sites representative of a moderate abundance of the species were
selected. Ten (10) trees were ramdomly sampled within each site, and at least ten (10)
fruits per tree were collected.
Field work
Measurements and observations have been carried out on each tree and they were
taken as peripheral data for a precise information on the features of trees from which
fruits were collected. The measurments and observations consisted of: a) height in
meters; b) D.b.h. in centimeters; c) features of the trunk; d) regeneration status; e)
Phenological data (shedding of leaves, Number of flowers and Number of fruits) and f)
Number of whorls/tree.
In total 770 fruits from 67 trees have been collected, which were placed separately and
duly identified in paper bags of 1 kg, and put into nylon bags for transportation to the
Seed Laboratory where they have been examined and analysed.

Laboratory Methods
Measurements of fruits: The length and width of the collected fruits were measured
with a vernier gauge; and each fruit has been weighed on a precision balance. Then
fruits were removed to a greenhouse, so they could opened with naturality and the seeds
could be extracted.
Two seed extraction methods were used, manually and
mechanically. The manual method consisted in passing repeatedly seeds on a sieve, 35
mm thick, in order to release seeds by friction.
The mechanical method used air from a compressor. Fruits were placed individually
between two sieves and they were introduced in a plastic bag in order to avoid losses of
seeds because of the air pressure. The extracted seeds were kept in packets and were

duly identified. This mechanical method was adopted for the final extraction process,
since it is fast and easy.
Measurements of Seeds: The seeds of each fruit were counted and weighed on a
precision balance. For the measurement of the size of seeds, a random sample of each
of the seven (7) sites was selected. This sample consisted of two trees per site and two
fruits per tree, for a total of 28 fruits. Of each lot, 20 seeds were measured using a
binocular loupe in millimeters; 560 seeds were measured.
Germination Tests: Two (2) trees and two (2) fruits per tree, from each of the seven
sites were selected to carry out germination tests. The number of the seeds used was 25
for each of the two replications altogether with pre-germination treatments, they were
placed systematically on a germination table using filter paper as substratum. In total
280 tests have been carried out. Controls were carried out during 24 hours for ten
consecutive days. The pre-germination treatments which have been used are listed as
follows A: Control (not treated seeds); B: Seeds soaked in water at a constant
temperature of 30C during 24 hours; C: Seeds soaked in water at a constant
temperature of 30C during 16 hours; D: Seeds soaked in boiling water during 30
seconds; E: Seeds soaked in water at an initial temperature of 60C and cooling during
two hours.
Data Processing: The Rondn Program (1983), of the Hierarchical Variance Analysis for
k levels, in Burroughs B6000/7000 was used with small variates. The STATPACK was
used in the EPSON QX microcomputer, of which the CORRELL (Linear Correlaction) and
ONEVREG (Simple Regressions) have been used.

RESULTS
Features of Fruits and Seeds
Width of the fruit: In table N 1, we can observe that the results of the measurements of
the fruit's width show highly significant differences at the provenances level and trees in
provenances, with variance components of 40.15% and 23.76%, respectively.
In Table 2, the average width of the fruit is shown and we can observe that this feature
reached it highest value in la Fra (2.68 cm) and its lowest value in Caparo (12.13 cm).
Length of the Fruit: The most evident differences in the length of the fruit are shown in
Table N 1, and they only occur at the provenance level, with a variance component of
56.61%.
As for the average length of the fruit, in Table N 2 we can observe that the highest value
(21.13 cm) occured in the La Fra provenance.
Weight of the Fruit: The major contribution of the weight of the fruit is shown at the
provenances level (Table N 1) with a variance component equivalent to 66.23% of the
total. The average of the weight of the fruit for the different provenances is very
heterogeneous (Table N 2), with values of 33.55 gr in La Fra, 20.70 gr in Caparo, 21.23
gr in Ticoporo and 15.78 gr in Caimital.

Number of Seeds per Fruit: In Table N 2, we can observe that the highest differences
occurred at the sites level in the provenances, which variance component represents
70.93% of the total.
Linear correlactions between the number of seeds per fruit and other assessed features,
are shown in Table N 3, we can observe a high and significant correlaction between the
number of seeds/fruit and the weight of seeds (r=0.9193).
Table N 4 shows the prediction equations of the seeds Number for each of the
provenances being studied. The exponential model was the best regression equation.
Weight of the Seeds: Table N 5 shows the results of the weight of seeds, we can
observe there are differences at the provenances level and in situ trees, with values
representing 22.54% and 23.54% of the total variation. The average weight of the
seeds/fruit for all the provenances was 4.52 gr. Provenances of the Western Plains
showed a general average of 4.21 gr, while in La Fra we observed the highest value
6.29 gr (Table N 2).
Size of Seeds: Table N 5 shows the results of the measurements of O. pyramidale
seeds. We can observe that at the level of provenances, sites in provenances and trees
in sites, no significant differences occurred, but differences occurred at the level of
fruits/tree.
Germination Tests: The results of the germination test are shown in Table N 6. We
can observe there are significant differences at the level of pregermination treatments in
the interactions treatment X tree and treatment X fruit. The differences at the level of
treatments are shown in Table N 7, the germination percents are shown in Figure N 1
and the daily development of the germination with the application of the five (5)
pregermination treatments is shown in Figure N 2.

DISCUSSION
Width of the Fruit: The width of the fruit is related to the genetic feature of the species,
since it is the result of the forming of the ovaries. This feature showed in all the
provenances an average of 2.29 cm; the highest value was reached in La Fra (2.68 cm)
and the lowest value in Caparo (2.13 cm). Results show there exist differences between
the three provenances from the Western Plains, and between those ones and the La Fra
provenance. Likewise, measurments showed differences highly significant at the level of
provenances and trees/provenances.
Length of the Fruit: The differences found at the level of provenances in the length ot
the fruit, show that this is a higly variable feature between sites, and closely linked to the
size of ovaries, thus it is also an important genetic heritability.
The differences which were found might be the result based on the occurrence of a
variation pattern, in the meaning of adaptations to the climatic conditions of the sampled
sites, since in the Western Plains the climate is notably seasonal, while in La Fra the
rainy season is longer, thus humidity conditions are greater.

Weight of the Fruit: This feature being of a strong genetic heritability, the differences at
the level of provenances have been evident; even if it is also possible that these
differences could be influenced by the ripeness condition of the fruit at the moment of the
collection and of the weighing. The latter factor was variable, since in some cases there
were trees where the fructification was just beginning, therefore green fruits have been
collected.
Number of Seeds per Fruit: The fact that the greatest differences in the number of
seeds per fruit occurred only at the level of sites/provenances, we can also observe in
Table N 1, that this feature was not significant at the level of provenances, which means
a high intrasites variation.
The number of seeds per fruit depends on the high degree of the pollination process,
which is related to pollen production and the receptiveness of the flowers ovules; we
have also to consider the size of the tree stand and its age for regeneration.
The O. pyramidale stands which have been sampled in the Western Plains, specifically
in Caimital and Ticoporo, are located on the borders of the logging roads consisting of
trees restricted to isolated patches, surrounded by forests. This situation makes the
disseminhation of pollen not very efficient, and besides it could influence the
regeneration age of the trees. In addition to the aforesaid factors, in such sites the lack
of natural regeneration trees has been observed.
With regard to the provenance from La Fra, the sampled site is located on the borders of
the freeway which is being constructed and will link La Fra to San Cristobal (Tchira).
On this site the O. pyramidale stands are considerably spread and practically O.
pyramidale is the dominant species; such situation makes the dissemination of pollen
easier and more efficient. In addition, we could observe the occurrence of an abundant
natural regeneration.
The average number of seeds/fruit for all provenances was 672.22 seeds/fruit. This
average showed a variance at the provenances level, the lowest average in Caimital
(546.13 seeds/fruit) and the highest in La Fra (868.66 seeds/fruit). The latter result can
be compared with that of Garca (1976), which reports about 828 seeds/fruit for
Ochroma lagopus in Mxico.
As for the linear correlations between the number of seeds/fruit and the other assessed
features, the best correlation was between the number of seeds/fruit and the weight
seeds (r=0.9193). This value shows there esists a good association between the number
and weight of the seeds.
Weight of the Seed: The weight of the seeds is closely related to the genetic feature of
the species, since it is determined by the size of ovules and also related to the number of
seeds/fruit, which are two highly associated variables.
Size of the Seed: Since there were no significant differences at the level of
provenances, sites provenances and trees/sites but differences at the intra-trees level,
this could be the reason why the size of the sample was not representative.
Germination Test: The results of the germination test as for the germinating power of O.
pyramidale seeds, showed the highest percent (76%) for the La Fra provenance and
the lowest (28%) for the Ticoporo provenance. The differences at the level of
pregerminative treatments show that the effect of these treatments on the germination is
variable. The greatest efficiency of the treatments was the result of the application of

the"E" treatment, which consisted in soaking seeds during two hours in hot water (60C)
cooling until reaching room temperature, obtaining 84.21% of germination for all
provenances. This result can be compared with the results reported by Neyra (1980) for
Colombia (56%) and the Seed Laboratory of the Silviculture Institute of the University of
the Andes, Mrida, Venezuela (between 80% and 90%), applying the same treatment.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
We can conclude, in general, that the major variations were found at the level of
provenances and intra-provenances, according to the features assessed in the fruits and
seeds of O. pyramidale.
The results found in the features of the width, length, number of seeds per fruit and
weight of the fruit are closely related to the genetic feature of the species, this means
there exists a possible genetic differentiation between the stands which have been
studied.
This differentiation might be favored by several environment factors, such as the
isolation, size of the stands and some type of selection, acting strongly or weakly, and
led probably to the establishment of ecotypes, specifically in the sampled O. pyramidale
stands of La Fra, where the most remarkable differences have been observed.
The prior consideration encourages the need of establishing provenance trials and
progeny tests in the different places in order to test the assessed features with a better
basis.
A high association between the number of seeds/fruit and the weight of seeds/fruit, with a
global value of r=0.9193, was assessed. The best regression equation was the
exponential model Y =a * e bx.
The germination tests of the O. pyramidale seeds, showed differences both at the
provenances level is in sites and treatments.

REFERENCES
GARCIA, A. ALGUNOS ASPECTOS DEL CICLO DE VIDA DE DOS ESPECIES
ARBOREAS TROPICALES DE DIFERENTES ESTADOS. Investigacin sobre la
regeneracin de selvas altas de Veracruz, Mxico. 1976. Cap. 19. p. 169-175.
NEYRA, R. M. ENSAYOS SOBRE TECNICAS DE VIVERO CON ESPECIES DEL
BOSQUE HUMEDO TROPICAL DE LA COSTA PACIFICA DE COLOMBIA. Proyecto
de Investigaciones y Desarrollo Industrial-Forestal. Bogot, 1980. 83 p.
PETIT, J. VARIACION EN CARACTERES DE FRUTOS Y SEMILLAS DE BALSO
(Ochroma pyramidale) EN TRES (3) PROCEDENCIAS DE LOS LLANOS
OCCIDENTALES Y UNA (1) DEL ESTADO TACHIRA, VENEZUELA. Centro de Estudios
Forestales de Postgrado. Facultad de Ciencias Forestales. Universidad de Los Andes.
Mrida, Venezuela. 1986. 42 p.

APPENDICES

TABLE N 1 Variance Analysis of different features of the fruits and seeds of Ochroma
pyramidale in tree sites in the Western Plains and one in the State of Tchira,
Venezuela.
SOURCES OF VARIATIONS

FEATURES.

PROVENANCES TREE/PROV.
1
13.75E06
56.61

SAMPLES/TREE/SITE/PROV

Length Fruit

DF
MS
%V

Weight Fruit

DF
1
MS 132.92E06 **
%V 66.23

1
7.68E05 ns
0.00

18
3.14E05 **
12.84

181
5.90E05
27.68

Number of
Seeds

DF
MS
%V

1
10.52E02 **
70.93

18
4.43E05 **
3.01

181
1.24E05
22.76

1
6.39E06
0.00

1
8.94E05
10.54

TREE/SITE/PROV
18
2.42E05 **
10.33

181
4.57E04
22.52

Weight of
Seeds

DF
3
3
60
MS
13.28E05 **
2.86E05 **
9.14E04 **
%V 22.54
5.76
23.54
ns = Statistically not significant at a probability level of 5%
* = Statistically significant at a probability level of 5%
** = Statistically significant at a probability level of 1%.

583
1.60E04
48.17

TABLE N 2. Average of different features of the fruits and seeds of Ochroma pyramidale
in three sites in the Western Plains and one in the State of Tchira, Venezuela.

PROVENANCE
TICOPORO

Width of fruit
( (cm)
2.29

Length of Fruit
(cm)
17.88

Weight of Fruit Seeds


(gr)
21.23
633.83

Weight seeds
(gr)
4.24

CAPARO

2.13

17.01

20.72

657.53

4.34

CAIMITAL

2.45

16.12

15.78

546.13

3.37

LLANOS
OCCIDENT.
LA FRIA

2.22

17.23

20.39

637.94

4.21

2.68

21.98

35.55

868.66

6.29

TABLE N 3. Linear correlations between the N seeds per fuit and different features of
the fruits and seeds of Ochroma pyramidale in three sites in the Western Plains and one
in the State of Tchira, Venezuela.
FEATURES RELATED TO THE NUMBER OF SEEDS PROVENANCE
TICOPORO

0.4109 **

0.6283 **

0.6300 **

0.8665 **

CAIMITAL

0.2828 *

0.6737 **

0.8031 **

0.8999 **

CAPARO

0.4043 **

0.5836 **

0.4746 **

0.9428 **

LLANOS OCCIDENT.

0.0929 *

0.5958 **

0.5549 **

0.9159 **

LA FRIA

0.2981 **

0.3863 **

0.1578 ns

0.8651 **

ALL

0.1668 **

0.6412 **

0.5488 **

0.9193 **

ns = Statistically not significant at a probability level of 5%


* = Statistically significant at a probability level of 5%
** = Statistically significant at a probability level of 1%

TABLE N 4. Prediction equations of the number of seeds per fruit in function of the
weight of the seeds of Ochroma pyramidale in three sites in the Western Plains and one
in the State of Tchira, Venezuela.

PROVENANCE
TICOPORO
CAIMITAL
CAPARO
LLANOS OCC.
LA FRIA

MODEL
193.209 X 0.82034
193.315 X 0.870023
175.318 X 0.900161
184.663 X 0.862693
243.177 X 0.694507

CORRELACTION
0.8776 **
0.9407 **
0.9417 **
0.9188 **
0.8582 **

** = statistically not significant at a probability level of 1%&

TABLE N.5 Variance Analysis of the sizes of the seed of Ochroma pyramidale, in three
sites in the Western Plains, and one in the State of Tchira, Venezuela.

SOURCE OF VARIATION
Provenance
Site/Provenance
Tree/Site/Prov.
Fruit/Tree/Site/Prov.
Error

DF
3
3
7
14
532

MS
SIGNIFICANCE
43956.339
ns
18610.208
ns
23475.893
ns
10736.607
**
2614.558

ns = Statistically no significant at a probability level of 5%


** = Statistically significant at a probability level of 1%

TABLE N 6. Variance Analysis of the germination test of Ochroma pyramidale, between


sites of the Western Plains and one in the State of Tchira.
SOURCE OF VARIATION

DF

Sites
Tree/Site
Fruit/Tree
Pregerm.Treatment

6
7
14
4

6553.74
3050.76
1408.50
5016.72

ns
ns
ns
**

24
28
56
140

364.79
720.50
254.55
21.18

ns
**
**

Site x Pregerm. Treat.


Tree x Pregerm. Treat.
Fruit x Pregerm. Treat.
Error

MS

SIGNIFICANCE

ns = Statistically not significant at a probability level of 5%


** = Statistically significant at a probability level of 1%

TABLE N 7. Germination Percent by treatment and provenance in Ochroma pyramidale


for three sites in the Western Plains and one in the State of Tchira, Venezuela.

PROVENANCE
TREAT.A TREAT.B
LA FRIA

21.5

GERMINATION PERCENT
TREAT.C TREAT.D TREAT.E
61.0

60.5

69.5

76.0

CAPARO
18.16
27.33
29.58
24.83
47.50
TICOPORO
3.50
16.50
18.00
26.75
28.00
CAIMITAL
6.50
32.00
26.50
63.00
63.00
TOTAL

12.79

32.71

30.18

37.21

48.21

Germination Percent by treatment and provenance in Ochroma pyramidale for three sites in the Western Plains and one in the State of
Tchira, Venezuela.

80

LA FRIA
70

CAPARO
TICOPORO

60

CAIMITAL
TOTAL

50

40

30

20

10

0
T RAT A

TRAT B

TRAT C
T RAT AMIE NTOS

T RAT , D

T RAT E