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Understanding lodgepole pine seed germination for improved utilization

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Germination behaviour of 18 lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) seed orchard clones collected over two years were assessed to evaluate the extent of variation among clones and between years. For each year, seed from individual clones were tested using a modified International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) germination protocol that consisted of control (unstratified) and one stratification (4 weeks pre-chilling) treatment. Stratification effect was overwhelming and shadowed the effect of clone, year and their interaction. The role of clones, years, and their interaction were assessed on unstratified and stratified tests separately. The subsequent analyses highlighted the significant role of clones (genetics) and the non-significant effect of years (environment), indicating that seed source genetic background plays a major role in controlling germination behaviour and the possibility of predicting clonal performance over years. The results demonstrated the effectiveness of stratification on minimizing clonal dormancy differences resulting in the production of higher and faster germination. The impact of stratification treatment length (1 to 5 weeks) was further investigated on composite seedlots from each collection year and the results were contrasted and compared to the procedure recommended by the ISTA (3 weeks). Extending the stratification treatment to 5 weeks resulted into a 2% increase in germination capacity and produced more prompt germination. The observed increase in germination could be translated to additional seedling production if nursery sowing factors accommodate this increase.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2009

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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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