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Seed Germination Ecology of Hawaiian Montane Species
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences
The montane zone of Hawaii ranges in elevation from 500-2,700 m, and it has a variety of plant communities, including dry grasslands, dry shrublands, dry forests, mesic forests, wet herblands, wet sedgelands, wet mixed communities, wet shrublands, and wet forests. This zone has been highly disturbed by humans; consequently, many community types as well as individual species have become very rare. Therefore, conservation efforts involve habitat restoration as well as protection and propagation of rare species.
A significant problem in restoration projects frequently is lack of plants of appropriate species for re-introduction. The ultimate goal is to provide people who are propagating Hawaiian native species, as well as those who are involved in habitat restoration, with a database for montane species that includes (1) the seed dormancy class, and (2) information on dormancy breaking and germination requirements of the seeds. Not only do plant propagators need to be able to break seed dormancy, but people involved in managing sites for long-term persistence of a species need to understand what natural environmental factors are required to break dormancy.
The purpose is is learn more about seed dormancy and germination and thus to provide people who are propagating Hawaiian native species for restoration efforts with a database for montane species that includes (1) the seed dormancy class, and (2) information on dormancy breaking and germination requirements of each species.
2010 Project Description
The ultimate goal of this project is to provide people who are propagating Hawaiian native species with information on dormancy-breaking and germination requirements of seeds. This information will be used to propagate species for restoration projects, or in some cases the horticulture trade. During 2010, new studies were initiated on seeds of Coprosma rhynchocarpa, Melicope anisata, and studies on seeds of Coprosma ernodeoides, Gardenia brighamii, Myoporum sandwicense were completed. Studies on seeds of Santalum ellipticum and Sapindus saponaria are still in progress. Also, the long-term studies on seeds of Rhus sandwicensis, Sophora chrysophylla and Styphelia spp. have been continued during 2010. The studies on Rhus and Sophora have now been in progress for 484 weeks.
Short course on seed dormancy classification, University of New Caledonia, Noumea, New Caledonia, 12 July 2010
Lecture: "Biogeography and phylogeny of seed dormancy and nondormancy in trees" IUFRO Tree Seed
Symposium: Recent advances in seed research and ex situ conservation. Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, Taipei, Taiwan. 16 August 2010
Lecture: "Morphological dormancy and morphophysiological dormancy" Xinjiang Agricultural University, Urumqi, China, 6 July 2010
Lecture: "Using information on biogeography and phylogeny of seed dormancy to facilitate propagation of plant species for restoration" University of New Caledonia, Noumea, 12 July 2010
Chien, C.-T. , J. M. Baskin, C. C. Baskin and S.-Y. Chen. (2010) Germination and storage of seeds of the subtropical evergreen tree Daphniphyllum glaucescens (Daphniphyllaceae). Australian Journal of Botany 58: 294-299.
Gama-Arachchige, N. S., J. M. Baskin, R. L. Geneve. and C. C Baskin. (2010) Identification and characterization of the water gap in physically dormant seeds of Geraniaceae, with special reference to Geranium carolinianum. Annals of Botany 105: 977-990.
Meulebrouck, K., K. Verheyen, M. Hermy and C. C. Baskin. (2010) Will the sleeping beauties wake up? Seasonal dormancy cycles in seeds of the holoparasite Cuscuta epithymum. Seed Science Research 20: 23-30.
Tuckett, R. E., D. J. Merritt, P. J. Rudall, F. Hay, S. D. Hopper, C. C. Baskin, J. M. Baskin, J. Tratt and K. W. Dixon. (2010) A new type of specialised morphophysiological dormancy and seed storage behavior in Hydatellaceae, an early-divergent angiosperm family. Annals of Botany 105: 1053-1061.