Physical attributes as indicator of seed maturity and germination enhancement in Himalayan Wild Cherry (Prunus cerasoides D. Don.)
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- Tewari, B., Tewari, A., Shah, S. et al. New Forests (2011) 41: 139. doi:10.1007/s11056-010-9216-x
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Prunus cerasoides has poor regeneration in its natural habitat due to its hard seed coat. The information about maturity time of fruit/seed is scanty and studies on seed germination enhancement lacking. In the present study, the main focus has been given to the physical fruits/seeds attributes which are reliable indicators of maturity and seed pretreatments which help to enhance germination. The fruits/seeds were collected from low and high elevational sites covering the altitudinal range of the species during the period of fruit/seed development (last week of February–mid April) for two consecutive years (2003–2004). The change in fruit colour from dark green to pale red or red was a useful indicator of seed maturity in P. cerasoides. Fruit moisture content between 46.57 ± 0.45% and 56.81 ± 1.14% and seed moisture content between 29.8 ± 1.35% and 34.13 ± 1.50% coincided with maximum germination (41.11 ± 13.96% and 59.99 ± 12.05%) across sites. The removal of seed coat (mechanical treatment) enhanced the germination of seeds to 70 ± 0% at low elevation and 100 ± 0% at high elevation in comparison of control or untreated seeds (germination range between 5.83 ± 0.83% and 31.68 ± 25.02%). Positive correlation existed between seed size and germination (r = 0.280; P < 0.01).