Relationships between seed moisture content (fresh weight basis) and germination were examined for nine Araucaria species by desiccation under mild environmental conditions. The lowest safe moisture content, below which germination percentage begins to decline, was estimated in each case. Seeds can be grouped into three moisture content categories: the first group (including A. araucana, A. angustifolia, A. hunsteinii and A. bidwillii) cannot be safely dried to below 25–40%; the second group (including A. columnaris, A. rulei, A. nemorosa and A. scopulorum) cannot be dried to below about 12% without damage; the third category contains A. cunninghamii, which can be dried to 2% without damage.
Seeds in the first group should be stored at 0–5 °C with moisture contents above the lowest-safe value. Provided freezing damage does not exceed 10%, seeds in the second group should be kept at - 18°C or lower with about 7% moisture content for long-term storage and at 0–5 °C with about 12% moisture content in the short term. Seed of A. cunninghamii is best retained at near 5% moisture content and in -18°C or lower.
The lowest-safe moisture content was found to be associated with seed size and weight, higher moisture content values coinciding with greater size and weight of seed. Food reserve materials also differed among the groups; seeds of the first group were mainly starchy, whilst those in the other categories possessed a high lipid content.
TOMPSETT, P.B. (1984). Desiccation studies in relation to the storage of Araucaria seed. Annals of Applied Biology. 105. (3). pp. 581-586. [DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7348.1984.tb03085.x]