, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 603-610

Variability in cone and seed characteristics and seed testing in various provenances of Himalayan spruce (Picea smithiana)

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Abstract

We investigated the effect of provenance variation on cone and seed morphology and germination behaviour under different pretreatments in Picea smithiana. Three categories of cones were recognized: large (13.18 cm × 3.30 cm−15.42 cm × 4.35 cm), medium (10.85 cm × 3.93 cm−12.18 cm × 3.98 cm) and small (7.69 cm × 3.06−10.98 cm× 3.39 cm). Significant variation was observed for various cone and seed characteristics. Seeds moisture content varied from 44.48% to 56.91%, seed size from 0.64 cm × 0.31 cm (largest seed) to 0.49 cm × 0.10 cm (smallest seed), and the seed weight from 2.45 g per 100 seeds to 1.36 g per 100 seeds on fresh weight basis of P. smithiana. The highest seed germination (72.0±7.53%) at 10°C was observed under chilling treatment in Tapovan provenance, while the minimum (15.0±5.71%) seed germination was recorded at 25°C under control set in Tapovan provenance. Further among all the sources Pandukeshwar consistently had the highest average (38%) percent germination across all treatments. Compared to other temperature regimes and pretreatments, seeds subjected to 10°C and chilling treatment had the highest germination and took the least time for germination irrespective of provenance effects. Altitude (provenance) had little or no relationship with germination following laboratory treatments. Seeds from Tapovan provenance subjected at 10°C following chilling treatment may be suggested for further multiplication of this species.

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