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Home Publications National Nursery Proceedings 2003 Update on Oak Seed Quality Research: Hardwood Recalcitrant Seeds

Update on Oak Seed Quality Research: Hardwood Recalcitrant Seeds

In 2 experiments, acorns of cherrybark oak (Quercus pagoda Raf.) and water oak (Q. nigra L.) were stored at 2 temperatures and 2 moisture contents for 3 years, and acorns of white oak (Q. alba L.) and cherrybark oak were desiccated over a span of up to 11 days and examined for physiological and biochemical changes. We found that after 2 years of storage, only cherrybark and water oak acorns that had been stored fully hydrated retained high viability. In addition, those stored at –2 ∞C (28 ∞F) were more viable than those stored at 4 ∞C (39 ∞F). In the desiccation study, we found rapid decreases in acorn viability, accompanied by changes in the lipid, protein, and carbohydrate fractions. Changes were seen in membrane lipids and proteins in as few as 3 to 4 days of drying, suggesting that the physiological deterioration of these acorns begins relatively soon after shedding. We suggest that all precautions against moisture loss be taken during collection and storage, especially if acorns are not used immediately.

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Author(s): Kristina F. Connor

Publication: National Nursery Proceedings - 2003

Event: Northeastern Forest and Conservation Nursery Association
2003 - Springfield, IL