Eugenia stipitata ssp. sororia McVaugh - Myrtaceae is a small Amazonian fruit tree with considerable economic potential. The present work investigated the effects of dehydration on seed viability and evaluated methods of overcoming seed dormancy by mechanical scarification (by peeling and sanding). The physiological quality of seeds is affected by reduction in moisture content. Seeds show recalcitrant behaviour with a critical moisture content between 58,8 and 47,1 %. No seeds survived dehydration to moisture contents of less than or equal to 25,76%. In view of the detrimental effects of drying, seeds should preferably be sown immediately after being extracted and cleaned. The seed integument offers mechanical resistance to expansion of the embryo. Total removal of the integument proved to be the most efficient method of overcoming dormancy since it eliminates resistance in the region where the embryo normally breaks through. The average time for emergence was 66 days and the final percentage emergence was 96%. Simple abrasion of the integument caused mechanical injury to the seeds with adverse consequences on emergence and vigour.
Seed physiology; moisture content; recalcitrant; mechanical scarification