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The Effect of Temperature and Light on Metrosideros polymorpha Seed Germination

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Title: The Effect of Temperature and Light on Metrosideros polymorpha Seed Germination
Authors: Burton, Philip J.
Issue Date: Apr 1982
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Citation: Burton PJ. 1982. The effect of temperature and light on Metrosideros polymorpha seed germination. Pac Sci 36(2): 229-240.
Abstract: Seeds of a Hawaiian rain forest tree species, Metrosideros polymorpha,
were germinated at temperatures ranging from 5 to 35°C and under
photosynthetic photon flux densities ranging from 0 to approximately 2000
IlE·m-2·s-1. Results after 30 days indicate that 25°C is the optimal temperature
and 170 IlE·m-2·s-1 or about 4-15 percent relative irradiance is the optimal light
intensity for Metrosideros germination. Declining germination at higher irradiances
was probably due to excessively high temperatures and intermittent desiccation.
No seeds germinated at temperatures less than 12°C. Light was not found
to be strictly required but improved germination by up to four times. Only 14
percent ofthe seeds sampled appeared to have intact embryos, hence the poor (15
percent) germination achieved even under optimal conditions.
Low temperatures (generally less than 17°C) must curtail germination success
on the floor of montane rain forests. The higher temperatures associated with
increased light intensity are probably more beneficial than light itself in increasing
germination success in forest clearings. These relationships to light and
temperature may partly explain why Metrosideros seedlings are often infrequent
beneath dense rain forest canopies.
ISSN: 0030-8870
Appears in Collections:Pacific Science Volume 36, Number 2, 1982

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