Understanding seed dormancy and germination aids conservation of rainforest species from tropical montane cloud forest: a case study confirming morphophysiological dormancy in the genus Tasmannia

Liyanage, Ganesha S., Offord, Catherine A., Crayn, Darren M., Guja, Lydia K., Worboys, Stuart, and Sommerville, Karen D. (2022) Understanding seed dormancy and germination aids conservation of rainforest species from tropical montane cloud forest: a case study confirming morphophysiological dormancy in the genus Tasmannia. Australian Journal of Botany, 70 (6). pp. 399-408.

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Abstract

Context: Seed dormancy is one issue hindering implementation of conservation actions for rainforest species.

Aims: We studied dormancy and germination in Tasmannia sp. Mt Bellenden Ker and Tasmannia membranea, two tropical montane rainforest species threatened by climate change, to develop a better understanding of dormancy in the species and the genus.

Methods: Dormancy was classified for T. sp. Mt Bellenden Ker on the basis of an imbibition test, analysis of embryo to seed length (E:S) ratios and germination in response to the following four dormancy-breaking treatments: (I) scarification of the seedcoat near the micropylar end; (2) removal of the seedcoat; (3) application of 100 mg L(-1)or (4) 500 mg L-1 gibberellic acid. The most effective treatment was then tested on T. membranea. The requirement for light for germination was also assessed.

Key results: Both scarified and intact seeds imbibed water. Initial E:S ratios were <0.22 for both species and increased up to 0.74 after 40 days, just before radicle emergence, for T. sp. Mt Bellenden Ker. Germination proportions were significantly higher in Treatments 1 and 2 than the remaining treatments for T. sp. Mt Bellenden Ker; T. membranea responded similarly well to Treatment 1. Germination under alternating light/dark conditions was slightly, but not significantly, greater than germination in the dark alone.

Conclusions: Both species have morphophysiological dormancy and treatments that remove seedcoat resistance to embryo growth facilitate germination. These treatments may improve germination in other species from the genus Tasmannia.

Implications: This knowledge will aid the germination of seeds to implement conservation strategies for Tasmannia spp.

Item ID: 76020
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1444-9862
Keywords: endemic species, E:S ratio, morphophysiological dormancy, plant conservation, seed dormancy, seed germination, seed storage, Tasmannia, tropical rainforests
Copyright Information: © 2022 The Author(s) (or their employer(s)). Published by CSIRO Publishing. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).
Funders: Ian Potter Foundation
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2022 07:46
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3108 Plant biology > 310806 Plant physiology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 100%
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