Temperature and seed storage longevity


Seed survival data for eight diverse species, namely the cereal barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), the grain legumes chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] and soya bean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], the timber trees elm (Ulmus carpinifolia Gleditsch.), mahogany (Swietenia humilis Zucc.), and terb (<i>Terminalia brassii </i>Exell.), and the leaf vegetable lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) were compared over a wide range of storage environments (temperatures from −13 °C to 90 °C, seed moisture contents from 1.8 to 25% f. wt) using a viability equation developed previously. In accordance with that equation, the effect of temperature on seed longevity was dependent upon the temperature range. The temperature coefficients of the viability equation did not differ significantly (P &gt; 0.05) among the eight species despite their contrasting taxonomy. Thus the quantitative relation between seed longevity and temperature does not vary among diverse species. The same conclusion was obtained for the coefficients of a proposed alternative model of the relation between seed longevity and temperature. The implications of the two temperature models in the viability equation for extrapolations to low and very low temperatures are discussed.


Annals of Botany (1990) 65 (2) 197-204

Published 1 January 1990