Conservation and vigour of balsawood seeds (Ochroma pyramidale)

Balsawood (Ochroma pyramidale, Bombacaceae) is used for construction of rafts, floats, life-savers, buoys, toys and for paper and cellulose production. The objective of this study was to determine a seed storage method for O. pyramidale to conserve seed viability and vigour for use and commercialization during seasonal shortages. Seeds were put in paper (Kraft) and plastic bags (0.10 mm), and stored in three environmental conditions: laboratory (22ºC and 65% relative humidity), humid chamber (5ºC and 86% RH) and dry chamber (15ºC and 40% RH). Germination percentage, moisture content and vigour of seeds were evaluated at the beginning of the experiment and after the storage periods. All treatments maintained seed vigour for 120 days of storage. The best storage conditions to maintain seed viability for a 400-day period were: 1) paper bags in the dry chamber (76.5% germination), 2) plastic bags in the dry chamber (65.5% germination) and 3) in laboratory conditions (63.5% germination).

Ochroma pyramidale; seed germination; storage conditions; storage packaging; humidity; viability; temperature


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