Variation in growth of 3-year old provenance trial of Albizia lebbek (L.) Benth. in arid India.
Twelve provenances of Albizia lebbe[c]k, a multipurpose tree, were collected from 9°N to 32°N latitude, 72°E to 85°E longitude and 40 to 400 cm rainfall zones in India. The plantations were raised at Hisar, in north-western India (29°N, 75°E, 215 m alt., 60 cm rainfall). In 3-year old trees, significant variations in height, diameter (DBH), branch number and biomass were observed among most of the provenances. Wide ranges in the means were exhibited by height (3.4 to 5.6 m), DBH (3.3 to 6.3 cm) and biomass (2.7 to 9.4 kg/tree). Provenances from north-western and central India, in general, were superior to those from south India. There were significant correlations between height or DBH with the latitude of seed source origin (r = 0.64 and 0.80, respectively; P <0.05). The heritability estimates were: 23.6% for height, 20.3% for DBH, 24% for crown spread and 17.3% for bole biomass. The variations are useful for breeding work on this important multipurpose tree of semi-arid and arid regions.