Diversity of epicotyl dormancy among tropical montane forest species in Sri Lanka.

TitleDiversity of epicotyl dormancy among tropical montane forest species in Sri Lanka.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
JournalPlant biology (Stuttgart, Germany)

Fruiting season of many Sri Lankan tropical montane species is not synchronised and may not occur when conditions are favourable for seedling establishment. We hypothesised that species with different fruiting seasons have different seed dormancy mechanisms to synchronise timing of germination with a favourable season for establishment. Using six species with different fruiting seasons, we tested this hypothesis. Germination and imbibition of intact and manually scarified seeds were studied. Effect of GA on germination was examined. Embryo length:seed length (E:S) ratio of freshly matured seeds and of those with a split seed coat was determined. Time taken for radicle and plumule emergence and morphological changes of the embryos were recorded. The radicle emerged from Ardisia missionis, Bheza nitidissima and Gaetnera walkeri seeds within 30 days, whereas it took >30 days in other species. Embryos grew in seeds of B. nitidissima and G. walkeri prior to radicle emergence but not in Microtropis wallichiana, Nothapodytes nimmoniana and Symplocos cochinchinensis. A considerable delay was observed between radicle and plumule emergence in all six species. Warm stratification and/or GA promoted germination of all species. All the tested species have epicotyl dormancy. Seeds of B. nitidissima and G. walkeri have non-deep simple morphophysiological epicotyl dormancy, and the other four species have non-deep physiological epicotyl dormancy. Differences in radicle and epicotyl dormancy promote synchronisation of germination to a favourable time for seedling development. Therefore, information on dormancy-breaking and germination requirements of both radicle and epicotyl are needed to determine the kind of dormancy of a particular species.

Short TitlePlant Biol (Stuttg)
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