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The role of moist-chilling and thermo-priming on the germination characteristics of white spruce (Picea glauca) seed

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The individual and combined effect of moist-chilling and thermo-priming on germination parameters (capacity, speed, lag and dormancy index) were evaluated using seed lots representing British Columbia's five white spruce (Picea glauca) seed planning zones. The combined effect of moist-chilling followed by a 3-day priming at 15 or 20°C, stimulated seed germination across all seed lots. These combined treatments resulted in substantial improvement of all germination parameters including reducing the dormancy index (14 vs. 25). Generally, three days of priming at 20°C yielded a higher percent germination than priming for the same period at 15°C, irrespective of whether or not seeds had received a previous moist-chilling treatment. Thermo-priming alone led to some improvement in germination characteristics such as reducing the time to germination onset (lag) and increasing germination speed. These results indicate that the combined application of moist-chilling and thermo-priming could improve container nursery practices for commercial seedling production of white spruce. The positive combined effect of moist-chilling and thermo-priming on seed germination offer great potential for generalised application to other conifers; however, species-specific treatment adjustment is required.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2013

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  • Seed Science and Technology (SST) is one of the leading international journals featuring original papers and review articles on seed quality and physiology as related to seed production, harvest, processing, sampling, storage, distribution and testing. This widely recognised journal is designed to meet the needs of researchers, advisers and all those involved in the improvement and technical control of seed quality.
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