PS 15-197 - Seed germination, early growth, and conservation of an endemic and endangered plant of Puerto Rico in laboratory conditions

Monday, August 7, 2017
Exhibit Hall, Oregon Convention Center
Fernando J. Vilá, School of Sciences and Technology, Universidad Metropolitana, San Juan, PR and Jonathan A. López, School of Environmental Affairs, Universidad Metropolitana

Seed germination and seedling establishment are the most crucial stages in the life cycle of a plant because they are important in the determination of a plant’s reproductive success. Germination is the process in which the embryo in the seed starts its growth by imbibition, the resumption of the cellular and metabolic processes, and finally the elongation of the radicle. Seed germination and introduction of new populations to natural habitats can influence in the conservation of endemic and endangered species. The objectives of this research were to successfully germinate seeds of the plant in laboratory conditions, and determine the germination rate and growth of the seedlings. The seeds and soils were collected in Reserva Natural Laguna Tortuguero. Chamaecrista glandulosa var. mirabilis is the species of study. Four Burpee – 36 Cell Seed Starting Systems were used. Soil was added to the systems, and seeds were sowed. Water was added for imbibition, and greenhouse domes were placed. Water was added to the watering trays, and the systems were placed in a rack under a lamp. Yellow light was provided during the day. The photoperiod was established approximately with 8 to 9h of intense light and 11h of darkness.


The results were preliminary, but seed germination was successful achieving 82 seeds germinated. Also, the germination rate and the growth of the seedlings were determined successfully. Seed germination began on day 3 in both populations, and most seeds germinated during the first 7 days after sowing. Average height was greater in seedlings of population 1 demonstrating a higher growth. It was concluded that the germination method is effective, and that it can be used for the introduction to the natural habitat, reinforcement of the wild plant populations, and conservation of the species.