Since Prosopis ferox seeds have a hard coat, scarification is needed in order to liberate seeds from their physical dormancy. We analysed the effect of mechanical and chemical scarification agents, and assessed whether the passage through goat and donkey digestive tracts is a scarifying mechanism. We found that the best germination rates are obtained with mechanical treatment, and that the biological treatments had very low germination rates. With subsequent mechanical scarification, seeds from the biological treatments that did not germinate had high germination rates, showing that the seeds are viable but still dormant. This confirm that the passage through digestive animal tracts does not brake physical dormancy, but act as a mechanism of seed liberation from their indehiscent fruit. © 2002 Academic Press.
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