Techniques to Determine Total Viability in Native Seed

Author: Vivrette, N.

The deep dormancy exhibited by seeds of many native plants can lead to the under estimation of total viability in laboratory tests. Pre-treatment of dormant seeds with gibberellic acid to break dormancy prior to testing for germination or total viability can give a more accurate assessment of seed quality.

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Seed Germination and Storability Studies of 69 Plant Taxa Native to the Willamette Valley Wet Prairie

Authors: Guerrant Jr., E.O. and Raven, A.

Seeds of 69 taxa native to the Willamette Valley, Oregon were subjected to four germination treatments: two under ambient late winter into summer environmental conditions (untreated (fresh) seed or dry and frozen seed) and two in controlled environment chambers (some seed was cold stratified at 5°C then placed in a 10°C/20°C chamber, other seed was placed in 10°C/20°C chamber then moved to a 5°C/15°C chamber). At least 93% of the taxa tested can tolerate desiccation and frozen storage.

One third of the taxa had a maximum mean germination above 80% in at least one of the four germination treatments, 55% of the taxa had a maximum mean germination rate between 10% and 80%, and only 12 % of the taxa had less than 10% germination. A total of 88% of the taxa had their highest germination in one or both of the two treatments, fresh and cold stratification.

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