Germination and emergence response of specific Douglas fir seed lot to different temperatures and prechilling duration

https://doi.org/10.17221/11/2014-JFSCitation:Martiník A., Houšková K., Palátová E. (2014): Germination and emergence response of specific Douglas fir seed lot to different temperatures and prechilling duration. J. For. Sci., 60: 281-287.
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One of the critical points of Douglas fir seedling production is to optimize the time of sowing and length of pre-sowing treatment. Germination and emergence of Douglas fir seed lot of the Czech origin (CZ-2-2A-DG-1740-6-3-P) were observed in simulated warm and cold conditions in two phytotrons for 3 months. Before this procedure the seeds were exposed to different prechilling duration. The temperature in control conditions of phytotrons was stable for 28 days and then it was increased: 11, 13, 17°C in cold phytotron and 13, 17, 20°C in the warm phytotron. Seeds without stratification and stratified for 3, 5, 7, 9 and 16 weeks were tested. The laboratory germination capacity of non-stratified seeds was only 58% and it was significantly (P < 0.05, Tukey’s test) lower than in stratification treatments when it varied from 92% to 96%. Non-stratified seeds did not germinate in cold phytotron and they germinated very slowly (germination rate at the end of experiment was 7%) in warm phytotron. The germination capacity of seeds both in the phytotron and in the laboratory was observed in treatments with prechilling of seeds longer than 7 weeks in warm conditions and only for seeds after 16 weeks of prechilling in cold conditions. The highest emergence rate of seeds (84%) was found in the warm phytotron after 16 weeks of stratification. Comparable results were reached only for 9 weeks of stratification in the same phytotron. The results suggest that the prolongation of the standard 3-week prechilling period helps to increase germination capacity and emergence rate of seeds. Future research should focus on optimal length with regard to more seed lots and also on seedling quality parameters.    
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