Freezing tolerance of conifer seeds and germinants

  • Hawkins B
  • Guest H
  • Kolotelo D
  • 27

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 10

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

Survival after freezing was measured for seeds and germinants of four seedlots each of interior spruce (Picea glauca x engelmannii complex), lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl. ex Loud.), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) and western red cedar (Thuja plicata Donn ex D. Donn). Effects of eight seed treatments on post-freezing survival of seeds and germinants were tested: dry, imbibed and stratified seed, and seed placed in a growth chamber for 2, 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 days in a 16-h photoperiod and a 22/17 degrees C thermoperiod. Survival was related to the water content of seeds and germinants, germination rate and seedlot origin. After freezing for 3 h at -196 degrees C, dry seed of most seedlots of interior spruce, Douglas-fir and western red cedar had 84-96% germination, whereas lodgepole pine seedlots had 53-82% germination. Freezing tolerance declined significantly after imbibition in lodgepole pine, Douglas-fir and interior spruce seed (western red cedar was not tested), and mean LT50 of imbibed seed of these species was -30, -24.5 and -20 degrees C, respectively. Freezing tolerance continued to decline to a minimum LT50 of -4 to -7 degrees C after 10 days in a growth chamber for interior spruce, Douglas-fir and lodgepole pine, or after 15 days for western red cedar. Minimum freezing tolerance was reached at the stage of rapid hypocotyl elongation. In all species, a slight increase in freezing tolerance of germinants was observed once cotyledons emerged from the seed coat. The decrease in freezing tolerance during the transition from dry to germinating seed correlated with increases in seed water content. Changes in freezing tolerance between 10 and 30 days in the growth chamber were not correlated with seedling water content. Within a species, seedlots differed significantly in freezing tolerance after 2 or 5 days in the growth chamber. Because all seedlots of interior spruce and lodgepole pine germinated quickly, there was no correlation between seedlot hardiness and rate of germination. Germination rate and freezing tolerance of Douglas-fir and western red cedar seedlots was negatively correlated. There was a significant correlation between LT50 after 10 days in the growth chamber and minimum spring temperature at the location of seedlot origin for interior spruce and three seedlots of western red cedar, but no relationship was apparent for lodgepole pine and Douglas-fir.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Cold hardiness
  • Douglas-fir
  • Frost hardiness
  • Germination
  • Interior spruce
  • Lodgepole pine
  • Seed
  • Seedlings
  • Western red cedar

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Authors

  • B. J. Hawkins

  • H. J. Guest

  • D. Kolotelo

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free