Seed Germination of Atlantic White Cedar as Influenced by Stratification, Temperature, and Light

in HortScience
Authors:
Laura G. JullDept. of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC 27695-7609

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Frank A. BlazichDept. of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC 27695-7609

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L.E. HinesleyDept. of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC 27695-7609

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Cones of two provenances (Wayne Co., N.C., And Escambia Co., Ala.) of Atlantic white cedar [Chamaecyparis thyoides (L.) B. S. P.], were collected Fall 1994. Cones were dried for 2 months, followed by seed extraction and storage at 4°C for 6 months. Seeds were graded and stratified (moist-prechilled) for 0, 30, 60, or 90 days. Following stratification, seeds were placed at 25°C or 8/16 hour thermoperiods of 25°/15°C or 30°/20°C with daily photoperiods at each temperature of 0, 1/2, 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, or 24 h. At the conclusion of a 30-day germination period, the Alabama provenance exhibited greater germination than the North Carolina provenance for all treatments (74% vs. 46%). There were no significant differences between 25°/15°C and 30°/20°C with regard to total percent germination for both provenances. Germination was lowest at 25°C for each provenance. In some cases, however, there were no significant differences in germination of the North Carolina provenance when stratified for 60 or 90 days and germinated at 30/20°C or 25°C (61% vs. 63%). There was a highly significant quadratic response to stratification for cumulative percent germination for both provenances. The North Carolina provenance required 90 days stratification to maximize germination (66%) in contrast to the Alabama provenance, which only needed 30 days (80%). Seeds of both provenances did not exhibit an obligate light requirement. However, photoperiods ≥1/2 h increased germination greatly over seeds in darkness (29% vs. 62%).

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