Eco-physiological aspects of melaleuca seed germination
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The invasive behavior of melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia) plants in wetlands is due to its aggressive regeneration strategy, which is based on its seeds germination performance. Understanding of the eco-physiological aspects of the seed germination in melaleuca plants may significantly contribute for the development of management strategies. The objective of this research was to learn how the germination of M. quinquenervia seeds are affected by light and temperature. Melaleuca seeds were placed on filter paper moistened with 12 ml of distilled water at temperatures between 10 and 45°C. Germination was evaluated in dark and light conditions. Seed germination, first count of seed germination (seven days), germination speed index and germination mean time were determined up to 40 days after seeding, when germination had ceased in most of the treatments. After that period, the seeds were transferred to conditions of 30°C and light, which was found to be ideal in the previous phase. Seed germination was daily evaluated up to 63 days when it was again observed no longer to occur. The treatment repetitions were distributed in the growth-chamber according to a completely randomized design in a factorial scheme (eight temperatures x two light conditions) and four repetitions. The data were submitted to analysis of variance with the F test and the means were adjusted to polynomial and non linear regression models. The highest seed germination performance was observed to take place under conditions of 27.3°C with light. The temperatures of 35 and 40°C in the dark induced thermal inhibition of seed germination. The temperature of 45°C was lethal to the seeds.