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Percussion as an effective seed treatment for herbaceous legumes (Fabaceae): implications for habitat restoration and agricolture

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Percussion as an effective seed treatment for herbaceous legumes (Fabaceae): implications for habitat restoration and agricolture

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Legumes are particularly useful in agriculture and in habitat restoration, increasing soil fertility and facilitating the establishment of other plant species. Seeds are important for these activities, but the use of legume seeds can be problematic due to seed coat-imposed dormancy. Although various seed scarification treatments have been proposed, there have been few attempts to monitor their effects on subsequent seedling establishment. Furthermore, literature about the use of percussion treatments is limited. In our study, seeds of six herbaceous Fabaceae species widely distributed in Europe and Asia, were used to investigate the response of seed germination and seedling establishment to percussion (for 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 minutes) compared with standard treatments such as immersion in sulphuric acid (for 1, 5, 10, 20 and 40 minutes) and hot water (at 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100°C for 30, 60 and 300 seconds). Immersion in sulphuric acid (for 20 and 40 minutes) and percussion (for 10 and 20 minutes), elicited the highest germination (80-95%) in all species, without injury. In contrast, hot water was only effective on half of the species and often caused abnormal germination. Although seedling establishment was high (c. 95%) and plants grew similarly after both acid and percussion treatments, percussion was found to be the most effective, safe and user-friendly. Its implementation for large-scale seedling production may have important economic and technological benefits.
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... Consequently, their germination percentages are usually lower than those of species which only reproduce sexually (Tárrega et al. 1992). In nature, seed scarification generally appears as one of the main processes favouring legume germination (Peinetti et al. 1993;Watterson and Jones 2006;Twigg et al. 2009), hence numerous efforts have been carried out to reproduce environmental factors triggering dormancy release, i.e. temperature (Tárrega et al. 1992;Herranz et al. 1998), chemical or mechanical scarification (Janzen 1981;Zare et al. 2011;Nongrum and Kharlukhi 2013;Abudureheman et al. 2014), mechanical abrasion (Vilela and Ravetta 2001), a combination of factors (Teketay 1996;Tigabu and Oden 2001;Sy et al. 2001;Patanè and Gresta 2006) and even percussion (Khadduri and Harrington 2002;Mondoni et al. 2013). In these cases, scarification generally increased germination rates somewhat moderately. ...
... Previously, Herranz et al. (1998), working on the Cytisus genus found no significant differences in germination after seed immersion in boiling water, whereas Abdallah et al. (1989) reported an enhancement in the total germination of C. scoparius seeds. Other authors indicated abnormal growth of herbaceous legumes after immersion in hot water (Mondoni et al. 2013). Otherwise, R. pseudoacacia and A. dealbata seed germinations were significantly enhanced after boiling water treatment, according to previous findings (Toda and Ishikawa 1951;Doran 1986). ...
... A third factor is the effect of the centrifugal movement of seeds produced by the rotary head and their impact on the beaker wall. Some studies have indicated that percussion may be successfully used to ameliorate germination rates in legumes (Khadduri and Harrington 2002;Mondoni et al. 2013). Amyloplasts-plastids that are responsible for the storage of starch-have been proposed to act as susceptors that sense mechanical vibrations in Arabidopsis thaliana, increasing the rate of seed germination through the action of ethylene (Uchida and Yamamoto 2002). ...
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The Fabaceae (legume family) is one of the largest families of plants with a worldwide distribution and a major role in agriculture and in agroforestry. A hard seed coat impermeable to water is a typical feature of several species. Physical dormancy delays and reduces germination so that mechanical, physical and chemical scarification methods have been classically used to break seed dormancy of many species. We evaluate the effectiveness of a methodology to scarify seeds of several woody Fabaceae of ecological and economical importance, including Robinia pseudoacacia and Acacia dealbata and the shrubs Cytisus scoparius, C. multiflorus and Ulex europaeus. We describe the optimized use of a handheld rotary tool (HRT), and compare its effectiveness with other scarification methods reported to break dormancy such as boiling or dry heating. Total germination and/or speed of germination were enhanced after the application of the HRT, with germination percentages significantly higher than those achieved by other methods of scarification. Based on a thorough literature review, a mode of action for the HRT is suggested which could operate by breaking the physical and physiological dormancy of treated seeds through the combined action of coat abrasion and moderate temperatures. Considering these results, we recommend the application of this rapid, effective, low-cost and highly reproducible HRT method to break seed dormancy and enhance germination of these species and others with similar dormancy constraints.
... The obtained results also showed a very low germination (2.18%) without any treatment. Similar results were obtained by several other researchers [40,41]. ...
... For economic purposes, the scarification treatment is applied to the seeds before sowing to increase the germination rate. Common methods include treating the seeds in water baths at temperatures ranging from 60 to 98 • C [40], with sulfuric acid [42], or with methods that physically damage the seed coat [41,43]. There are various chemical and mechanical treatments also used to stimulate germination. ...
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The influence of the geographical origin of eight Romanian provenances of Robinia pseudoacacia on the characteristics of seeds, germination, and growth of seedlings in young stages of life was analyzed. Four experiments were undertaken to test seed germination (thermal treatment at distinct temperatures, mechanical scarification, acetone 90%, and biostimulator). The germination percentage showed that scarification treatment provided the best results among all treatments (41.7%). Seeds soaked in water at 100 °C provided the second-highest germination rate. Furthermore, the same two treatments also assured the highest values for the seedlings’ length. There were registered significant differences among the provenances for the analyzed characteristics, the seed germination capacity, and the growth rate of the seedlings in the first years of life. The study highlighted the resources that could ensure good quality of the reproductive forest material, which can be used in new afforestation and breeding programs. Pearson correlations and multivariate analysis provided interesting and useful information about R. pseudoacacia provenances and 13 characteristics of the seeds and seedlings, highlighting the relationship among them. The results could be of interest for the efficient use of forest genetic resources and the obtention of quality reproductive material in black locust.
... Whilst these techniques are well established in laboratory or nursery settings, their application and effectiveness in field scenarios and at restoration scales is less understood (Broadhurst et al. 2016). Some treatments can be scaled up (and mechanized)-scarification with sandpaper or a pneumatic scarifier, wet and dry heat, percussion, or acid scarification can be applied to large quantities of seed to break PY (Khadduri & Harrington 2002;Kimura & Islam 2012;Mondoni 2013;Hall et al. 2017;Kildisheva et al. 12018b), whilst flash flaming, dry after-ripening, smoke compounds, gibberellic acid, and other chemical stimulants can be applied to physiologically dormant seeds Guzzomi et al. 2016;Erickson et al. 2017;Hall et al. 2017;Lewandrowski et al. 2017). Understanding the scalability of a treatment technique is important to prevent embryo damage and ensure effectiveness. ...
... Percussion scarification Place seeds inside a metal container (adjust the container size based on distance you want the seeds to travel within container). Placed on an industrial paint shaker and run for 3-20 minutes (see Khadduri &Harrington 2002 andMondoni et al. 2013). ...
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From 50 to 90% of wild plant species worldwide produce seeds that are dormant upon maturity, with specific dormancy traits driven by species’ occurrence geography, growth form, and genetic factors. While dormancy is a beneficial adaptation for intact natural systems, it can limit plant recruitment in restoration scenarios because seeds may take several seasons to lose dormancy and consequently show low or erratic germination. During this time, seed predation, weed competition, soil erosion, and seed viability loss can lead to plant re-establishment failure. Understanding and considering seed dormancy and germination traits in restoration planning are thus critical to ensuring effective seed management and seed use efficiency. There are five known dormancy classes (physiological, physical, combinational, morphological, and morphophysiological), each requiring specific cues to alleviate dormancy and enable germination. The dormancy status of a seed can be determined through a series of simple steps that account for initial seed quality and assess germination across a range of environmental conditions. In this article, we outline the steps of the dormancy classification process and the various corresponding methodologies for ex situ dormancy alleviation. We also highlight the importance of record-keeping and reporting of seed accession information (e.g. geographic coordinates of the seed collection location, cleaning and quality information, storage conditions, and dormancy testing data) to ensure that these factors are adequately considered in restoration planning.
... In this regard, percussion (i.e. seeds repeatedly propelled against a hard surface), has been found to be an effective and user-friendly method of scarification for large quantities of legume seeds (Mondoni et al., 2013). In this study, we investigated the effects of percussion and manual scarification on seed germination, cotyledon damage and seedling growth in K. pentacarpos, from wild, ex situ cultivated and reintroduced populations, in order to identify the most effective method to remove dormancy and produce healthy seedlings. ...
... The following treatments were applied: (1) seed-coats were gently chipped by hand using a scalpel (manual scarification); (2) 5 and (3) 10 minutes percussion treatments using a pneumatic paint shaker (CycloneTM, BroncorpMfg. Co., Denver, CO, USA) as described in Mondoni et al. (2013); (4) control treatment (no scarification). After scarification, three replicates of 20 seeds each per population and treatment were sown in 90 mm-diameter Petri dishes with 1% agar and placed in temperature and light controlled incubators (LMS Ltd., Sevenoaks, UK) at conditions previously found to elicit high germination (Poljakoff-Mayber et al., 1992), i.e. 12-hour daily photoperiod (photosynthetically active radiation of 40-55 μmol m -2 s -1 , 400-700 nm) and 30/25°C (with light provided during the warmest temperature). ...
Article
Kosteletzkya pentacarpos is important for the restoration of coastal habitats in Asia and is vulnerable in Europe. Physical dormancy (PY) prevents ready seed germination and seedling production for restoration and conservation purposes. In this study, seed germination and seedling growth of K. pentacarpos were investigated in response to scarification treatments (manual scarification, percussion) and population origin (i.e., wild, cultivated ex situ and reintroduced). Manual scarification best promoted seed germination (98-100%), but resulted in damages to the cotyledons (on 64% of seedlings, on average) and lower seedling growth. Percussion did not significantly increase seed germination, but best promoted seedling growth. There was a significant reduction of PY in seeds produced by plants cultivated ex situ and/or reintroduced. Our results indicate that scarification treatments and ex situ cultivation may have important implications in translocation and other uses of K. pentacarpos.
... Once the seed coat became more permeable, germination improved significantly, and became more rapid and uniform. This result corresponds favourably with work done on other forage legume species (Uzun and Aydin, 2004;Patane and Gresta, 2006;Can et al., 2009;Mondoni et al., 2013;Rodrigues-Junior et al., 2014;Naim et al., 2015). Mechanical scarification, however, may be very time consuming, especially if a large number of seeds are required. ...
... Wet heat scarification methods therefore, has been proposed as an alternative to mechanical scarification, especially when large quantities of seeds are required. Several authors have indicated that wet heat scarification resulted in a significant improvement in germination of many legume species (Mondoni et al., 2013;Rodrigues-Junior et al., 2014). In this study, however, the boiling water treatment did not improve germination ability but rather resulted in significant seed mortality in both species. ...
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Native forages have been proposed as a plausible alternative to the use of exotic forage germplasm due to their adaptation to the surrounding bioclimatic and edaphic conditions, and the reduced risk of becoming weedy or invasive. Calobota sericea and Lessertia frutescens are two perennial legume species from the semi-arid rangelands of Namaqualand and are currently under investigation as fodder crops for use within these agro-ecosystems. These species display physical seed dormancy, and therefore, we aimed to investigate methods to break their dormancy to ensure fast and uniform seed germination and establishment. After collection, C. sericea and L. frutescens seeds were subjected to three dormancy breaking treatments, namely, mechanical scarification, boiling the seeds for 5 min, and placing the seeds in boiled water and leaving them until the water has cooled to room temperature. The seeds were thereafter germinated in petri-dishes. Mechanical scarification was the most effective method to break dormancy, and once the dormancy was removed, germination commenced rapidly. However, further research is needed to determine more efficient means to scarifying larger quantities of seeds.
... The impermeability of the seed coat, understood as physical dormancy, is a very important ecological mechanism for species to ensure that germination occurs only in favorable conditions for seedling growth [44,45]. However, this phenomenon is undesirable when seeds are intended for commercial use and forest practice [46]. Thus, to break the dormancy of seeds, the seed coat must be damaged. ...
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Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) is recognised as a forest species of interest due to its multiple uses. The management of forest genetic resources and their efficient conservation suffer from variations in traits and start with seed germination. The aim of the current study was to investigate the germination of seeds obtained from plus trees selected in eight Romanian provenances, as well as to investigate the influence of the origin upon plants’ growth and development. Two experiments were undertaken to test seed germination: one treatment involved water-soaked seeds and heat/cold treatment, while the other treatment was based on sulphuric acid, at different concentrations (50, 70, 90%). The results were correlated with the morphological analysis of the seeds. Satu-Mare had the lowest germination rate within both treatments. Sulphuric acid did not improve seed germination as much as the heat treatment. The highest germination rate occurred for the water and temperature treatment on seeds from Bihor provenance (68.2%). The most distant provenance was Bihor, in inverse correlation with Bistrița Năsăud and grouped separately within the hierarchical dendrogram of cluster analysis based on the analysed parameters of the provenances investigated. The results demonstrated that the genotypes and environmental heterogeneity of the seed origin within the provenances may finally result in different performances.
... There is some evidence that native N-fixing plants in New Zealand facilitate the availability of soil N and provide a nurse crop to other plants (Bellingham et al., 2001), as is the case elsewhere (Nezomba et al., 2008;Mondoni et al., 2013). However, it is known that rates of nodulation and N-fixation can be impaired where concentrations of soil N are high (Waterer and Vessey, 1993;Voisin et al., 2002). ...
Article
Approximately 40% of New Zealand's land mass is fertilized grassland with entirely non‐native plants, but currently there is substantially increased interest in restoration of native plants into contemporary agricultural matrices. Native vegetation is adapted to more acid and less fertile soils and their establishment and growth may be constrained by nutrient spillover from agricultural land. We investigated plant–soil interactions of native N‐fixing and early successional non N‐fixing plants in soils with variable fertility. The effects of soil amendments of urea (100 and 300 kg N ha⁻¹), lime (6000 kg CaCO3 ha⁻¹), and superphosphate (470 kg ha⁻¹) and combinations of these treatments were evaluated in a glasshouse pot trial. Plant growth, soil pH, soil mineral N, Olsen P and nodule nitrogenase activity in N‐fixing plants were measured. Urea amendments to soil were not inhibitory to the growth of native N‐fixing plants at lower N application rates; two species responded positively to combinations of N, P and lime. Phosphate enrichment enhanced nodulation in N‐fixers, but nitrogen inhibited nodulation, reduced soil pH and provided higher nitrate concentrations in soil. The contribution of mineral N to soil from the 1‐year old N‐fixing plants was small, in amounts extrapolated to be 10–14 kg ha⁻¹ y⁻¹. Urea, applied both alone and in conjunction with other amendments, enhanced the growth of the non N‐fixing species, which exploited mineral N more efficiently; without N, application of lime and P had little effect or was detrimental. The results showed native N‐fixing plants can be embedded in agroecology systems without significant risk of further increasing soil fertility or enhancing nitrate leaching.
... This means that the capacity of seeds to germinate has a long-lasting effect on species establishment. Germination success is dependent among others, on seed age, origin, moisture content, and storage conditions (Mondoni et al., 2013), whereas survival in the field can depend on sowing density, timing and seedling characteristics of co-seeded species (Oliveira et al., 2014). Although seeds were sown in the field prior to winter, when moisture and low temperature conditions are most favourable for germination (Commander et only four species were well established (field coverage > 0.5 %), contrary to laboratory results with seven species over 40% of germination success. ...
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There is a lack of knowledge on germination capabilities of native species and their relation to field establishment that could help optimize ecological restoration efforts. We studied laboratory germination and second year field establishment of 12 native vascular dry grassland plant species in the frame of a restoration project in NE Hungary. Our questions are:1) For which species is cold-stratification necessary to break dormancy of seeds? 2) Is there a positive correlation between germination and second year establishment? Laboratory germination was studied with and without cold-stratification and the impact of cold-stratification was tested by linear model. Relationships between germination and field establishment were tested by generalized linear models. Cold-stratification decreased significantly the germination of four grass species, and was important to break dormancy for one dicot. Field establishment is positively connected with germination under both germination treatment. We conclude that, laboratory germination has a high predictive value on the establishment success of seeded species.
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Conference Paper
The region of southwestern Morocco has nearly 1240 plant species and subspecies, which reopresents one-third of Morocco's flora. This floristic diversity is reflected by the presence of species of Mediterranean, tropical, macaronesian strains and the presence of many endemic species, such as the argan tree, some species of thyme such as Thymus satureioides, Thymus leptobotrys and Thymus broussonetii. The latter grow spontaneously in the Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve and are widely used by local populations. These plants are thus subjected to intense exploitation which poses a problem for their conservation and their durability. The present work aims to study the seed germination of five endemic species that develop in the Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve; they are three Lamiaceae (Thymus satureoides, Thymus leptobotrys, Teucrium demnatense), one Cistaceae (Halimium antiatlanticum) and two Fabaceae (Hesperolaburnum platycarpum, Hesperolaburnum platycarpum). Several experimental protocols have been tested and this in order to develop the optimal experimental conditions for the cultivation of these plants. Thus, four treatments were adopted namely manual scarification using abrasive paper, soaking in boiling water, soaking in concentrated sulfuric acid and soaking in hydrogen peroxide (35%). Incubation of the seeds was made at 25°C. Overall, the results obtained showed that the seeds of the studied species exhibit varied behaviors depending on the applied treatment. The obtained results showed that the treatments used could improve the germination capacity of the species studied significantly, with rate up to 100%.
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