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Seed desiccation sensitivity of Quercus fabri and Castanopsis fissa (Fagaceae)

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The logistics of reforestation and restoration projects often require that seeds being used to produce seedlings must be stored after collection. However, desiccation tolerance and subsequent survival of stored seeds of many Chinese temperate and subtropical tree species, such as White oak (Quercus fabric) and Chestnut oak (Castanopsis fissa), are poorly understood. Both Quercus fabri and Castanopsis fissa are multipurpose, deciduous trees growing in temperate and subtropical forests in southwest China. However, since the first stage in the ex-situ conserving seeds is drying, it is important to know whether or not seeds of Q. fabri and C. fissa tolerate drying. The present purpose was to determine the desiccation sensitivity and storability of these two species with the aim of effectively storing seeds in a seed bank. Subjected to rapid drying, the germination of Q. fabri seeds declined dramatically from 95% to zero when seed moisture content decreased from an initial 42.5% to 21.7%. In particular, viability of Q. fabri seeds decreased by more than 50% at 31.9% moisture content. Loss of viability of C. fissa seeds showed a similar pattern, decreasing to 48% at 27.6% moisture content. Based on these results, we concluded that seeds of both species were desiccation sensitive. Such information is valuable for maintaining seed viability during storage and subsequent reforestation. As well, both Q. fabri and C. fissa seeds were chilling-sensitive according to their storability. Data are also obtained, including seed size, 1000-seed weight and seed coat ratio (SCR) of both species.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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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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