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Alleviation of physiological dormancy in oriental beechnuts with cold stratification at controlled and unrestricted hydration

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Two experiments were set up to determine the optimal dormancy breaking treatments for oriental beechnuts. The first experiment involved cold stratification of beechnuts on moist sand for two, three, five and eight weeks at 5°C; and with or without endocarp. In the second experiment, beechnuts were graded into three weight classes, in one sub sample the endocarp was removed while the other was with endocarp; the moisture content was adjusted to 30%; and exposed to chilling without medium under constant temperature at 3°C or alternating temperature between 1, 3 and 5°C for three weeks. The result shows that germination capacity increased with increasing duration of cold – moist stratification for nuts with and without endocarp. There was a positive relationship between germination capacity and seed/nut weights at both chilling temperature regimes. The highest germination capacity (95%) was recorded for heavy seeds subjected to alternating temperature. For all weight classes, removal of endocarp enhanced germination of beechnuts at both temperatures regimes. Alternating temperature regime, however, resulted in significantly higher germination capacity than constant temperature, especially for nuts without endocarp. In conclusion, removal of endocarp, chilling without medium under alternating temperature and grading beechnuts according to weight classes are recommended to break dormancy in oriental beechnuts.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-07-01

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