, Volume 127, Issue 2, pp 125-131
Date: 05 Sep 2007

Desiccation and storage behavior of bay laurel (Laurus nobilis L.) seeds

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The effect of seed moisture content (m.c.) and seed storage conditions of bay laurel (Laurus nobilis L.) was investigated in relation to seed viability. In the first experiment, the effect of drying rate on seed moisture and seed germination was investigated. Fresh seeds, with their original moisture content displayed a germination percentage of 55.1%. When the seed moisture content was reduced by 2.0% in an oven, the germination percentage rose to 81.0%. When the seed moisture content was reduced even more by using the same method, the germination percentages decreased dramatically. Reducing the seed moisture content to 28.7 and 23.5% by drying the seeds in alternating room conditions resulted in an increase of seed germinability to 84.3 and 90.9%, respectively. The drying of the seeds for 45, 60 and 75 days reduced their seed germination to 66.8, 49.4 and 48.0%, respectively. Reducing seed moisture content below 15.0% resulted in practically nullifying seed germinability. The fact that bay laurel seeds cannot retain their germinability at lower moisture contents demonstrates that it is a species with recalcitrant seeds. In the second experiment, moist and dry storage conditions were tested under different temperatures and moisture contents. The storage experiment showed that the most effective way of conserving the bay laurel seeds is moist storage at 0 ± 1°C for 4 months without previous drying of the seeds.

Communicated by Rainer Matyssek.