Seed germination of Loxopterygium guasango, a threatened tree of coastal Northwestern South America
Loxopterygium guasango is a tree native to Ecuador with threatened status as of 1993, despite its durable wood, history of timber use, and potential use in reforestation. This study reports on seed germination, a potential cause of its low regeneration rates.
research goals & methods
1260 seeds were collected and germination was tested with the following treatments: soaked with cool water; soaked with hot water; germinating with light; germinating with no light; baked; and control. Very low germination rates occurred with all treatments, with the highest being 13% germination in the hot water treatment. Low germination rates may be due to fungal infection, insectivory, inappropriate germination conditions, and inviability. Seed dissection indicated that only 20% of seeds were considered alive, while 80% were dead. Of viable seed, 65% germinated when treated with hot water, which can kill fungal pathogens.
conclusions & takeaways
The authors suggest that because the species can be easily propagated vegetatively, the stands may have low genetic diversity that could lead to seed abortion and susceptibility to predation.
Agrawal, A.A. 1996, Seed germination of Loxopterygium guasango, a threatened tree of coastal Northwestern South America, Tropical Ecology, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 273-276.