GOLSOOMEH AZIZI1, ALIREZA KOOCHEKI2, LEILA ALIMORADI3, ALI AZIZI3
1Payam Noor University, Agronomy, Iran
2Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, College of Agriculture, Department of Agronomy, Iran
3Islamic Azad University - Mashhad Branch, Department of Agronomy, Iran
In order to evaluate the agroecological criteria for the possible domestication of Teucrium polium, a preliminary survey was made in natural habitat of Tandureh national park in North Khorasan. In this case, biological criteria of plants including plant density, height, biomass and crown diameter was measured. Also in 2 separate field trials, agronomic criteria of this species were studied for two years (2006 and 2007) on an experimental field of the Institute of Plant Sciences of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad.
In the first experiment, two planting methods including direct seeding and transplanting were compared and in a second experiment plant density and date of transplanting was evaluated. In this experiment plant density was 25, 17 or 13 plants per m2 on dates of transplanting (17 October and 5 May). Transplants were transferred in rows with 20cm apart and the proper densities were arranged on the rows with 20, 30 and 40cm between plants. In another trial in 2007, the effect of different levels of manure (10, 20 and 30 ton per hectare) and irrigation intervals (14, 21 and 28 days) on agronomic criteria of this species was investigated. In the natural habitat, this plant grows on an altitude of 1000-1100m, on poor loamy soils with an average density of 4 plants per m2, height of 47cm, crown diameter of 50cm and dry matter yield of 11 g m-2.
Field experiments indicated that direct seeding is not successful and autumn transplanting was superior to spring transplanting. Furthermore the plants performed better in the second year as compared to the first year. Also performance of species in terms of yield, height and crown diameter was better under field condition compared to natural habitat. However essential oil content in the first year was 50 percent lower under field condition compared with nature. Different levels of manure and irrigation intervals did not affect agronomic criteria of Teucrium polium.
Keywords: Biomass, density, domestication, natural habitat, Tandureh national park, Teucrium polium L., transplanting