Variation in seed germination between populations of five sub-alpine woody species from eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau following dry storage at low temperatures

Ju Hong Wang, Carol C. Baskin, Wei Chen, Guo Zhen Du

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Effects of cold-dry storage on dormancy break and viability were determined for seeds of the five sub-alpine woody species Philadelphus incanus, Berberis vernae, Berberis dubia, Betula utilis, and Picea purpurea collected along an altitudinal gradient on the eastern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China. Germination tests were conducted at 20/5°C for seeds stored dry at ambient room temperature for 4 weeks and then at 3-4°C for 0, 6, 12, and 24 weeks. Dormancy break during dry storage, i.e., afterripening, was indicated by an increase in germination percentages and rates. Duration of cold-dry storage and altitude of seed collection had significant effects on germination. With an increase in duration of storage, germination percentages and rates of P. incanus and B. vernae increased with a decrease in altitude of seed collection, while they increased with an increase in altitude for seeds of B. utilis and P. purpurea. Seeds of B. dubia did not exhibit changes in germination percentages and rates with altitude because a high number of seeds remained dormant during storage. Seed viability after 24 weeks of storage ranged from high (88, 93.3, 92.7%) for B. utilis to low (15% for high altitude) for P. incanus. The potential for dormancy break to occur during cold-dry storage should be considered when studies on basic seed dormancy are conducted or when seeds from various locations are stored prior to propagating plants from them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-203
Number of pages9
JournalEcological Research
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments We acknowledge Professor Xuelin Chen and Wei Qi for identifying species and helping to collect seeds. The study was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 30470307).

Keywords

  • Afterripening
  • Altitude
  • Cold-dry storage
  • Seed germination
  • Variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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