Germination response and viability of an endangered tropical conifer Widdringtonia whytei seeds to temperature and light uri icon

abstract

  • The tropical conifer Widdringtonia whytei Rendle is an endangered species endemic to Mulanje Mountain in Malawi. A study was conducted for the first time under controlled conditions in order to assess the effects of temperature and light on germination and viability of W. whytei seeds. Seeds incubated at a constant temperature of 20 degrees C attained the highest cumulative germination percentage (100%) followed by 87% germination under fluctuating temperatures of 15 degrees C night/25 degrees C day. No seed germination occurred at temperatures below 15 degrees C. Seeds that failed to germinate at temperatures below 15 degrees C showed the highest (>90%) viability compared to the seeds incubated at 25 degrees C (60%). Across temperature regimes, germination was significantly higher under light (44.7%) than dark (35.6%) conditions. It is concluded that temperature is one of the critical factors for germination of W. whytei seed. The ability of W. whytei seeds to germinate both in light and darkness implies that the species would unlikely form a persistent soil seed bank, an attribute which is common in species that survive in habitats frequently disturbed by fires. (c) 2012 SAAB. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • The tropical conifer Widdringtonia whytei Rendle is an endangered species endemic to Mulanje Mountain in Malawi. A study was conducted for the first time under controlled conditions in order to assess the effects of temperature and light on germination and viability of W. whytei seeds. Seeds incubated at a constant temperature of 20 Ä�C attained the highest cumulative germination percentage (100%) followed by 87% germination under fluctuating temperatures of 15 Ä�C night/25 Ä�C day. No seed germination occurred at temperatures below 15 Ä�C. Seeds that failed to germinate at temperatures below 15 Ä�C showed the highest (N90%) viability compared to the seeds incubated at 25 Ä�C (60%). Across temperature regimes, germination was significantly higher under light (44.7%) than dark (35.6%) conditions. It is concluded that temperature is one of the critical factors for germination of W. whytei seed. The ability of W. whytei seeds to germinate both in light and darkness implies that the species would unlikely form a persistent soil seed bank, an attribute which is common in species that survive in habitats frequently disturbed by fires

publication date

  • 2012
  • 2012
  • 2012