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Open Access Deep physiological dormancy in seeds of Balkan maple (Acer hyrcanum): a rare tree in the Hyrcanian Mountain forests of Iran

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Acer hyrcanum is a rare maple distributed mainly in the Hyrcanian Mountain forests of Iran and in other parts of western Asia. Its high potential for use in forest rehabilitation programmes is limited due to lack of knowledge about its seed germination requirements. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the seed dormancy and germination requirements of this rare maple. Mature seeds require at least eight weeks of cold moist stratification to overcome dormancy and initiate seed germination, however, 16 weeks of cold stratification was found to be optimum to achieve > 95% germination. GA3 shortened the cold stratification period and enhanced germination but failed to substitute for the cold stratification requirement. Pericarp removal did not affect overall seed germination but had positive effects on germination indices (lag time and T50). However, it failed to result in normal seedlings. Warm stratification and dry storage prior to cold stratification failed to show any promising results. The overall results indicated that Balkan maple seeds possess a deep physiological dormancy (PD), i.e. C3a, where 'C' denotes PD, '3' denotes deep and 'a' denotes exposure to cold temperature. Thus, to facilitate production of quality planting stocks with high and uniform germination, seeds should be exposed to a long period of cold moist stratification to overcome the deep-PD. This could be achieved in practice by autumn planting or stratification prior to sowing in the spring.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2018

This article was made available online on September 21, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Deep physiological dormancy in seeds of Balkan maple (Acer hyrcanum): a rare tree in the Hyrcanian Mountain forests of Iran".

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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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