Effect of Substrate Moisture Content and Invasive Grass Competition on Native Fig (Ficus fistulosa) Seedling Recruitment in Limestone Quarries
Challenges for restoration of degraded habitats on quarried limestone present in many countries including Indonesia. Ficus fistulosa as native species was chosen as a study species in the study of quarry restoration, as this species was shown in the previous study to have high importance value in Ciampea limestone forest in Bogor, West Java. To identify the effect of substrate moisture and competition from exotic Pennisetum grass to limestone restoration using native Ficus, we set up an experiment in the green house. Ficus above and belowground biomass were reduced because of the presence of Pennisetum grass and was affected by substrate moisture. Ficus biomass growth apparently was not favoured by higher irrigation. However, lower rate of irrigation led to the lower biomass of grass, meaning a lower competition from grass. On the other hand, it was apparent that the interaction of substrate moisture and presence of competition from grass reduced Ficus aboveground as well as belowground biomass. Furthermore, competition with grass was significantly reduced seedling’s leaf and length. Nevertheless, the interaction effect of substrate moisture and competition did not lead to the reduction of Ficus seedling’s leaf and length.
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