Factors affecting stand establishment and yield of meadowfoam (Limnanthes alba Benth.) Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/7w62fd53p

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  • Germination of meadowfoam (Limnanthes alba Benth.) seed is inhibited by warm soil temperatures. This has led to recommendations for planting from early to mid-October when soil temperatures are below about 15°C. Objective data on the effects of planting date on stand establishment and yield are not available. These studies were initiated to obtain information on the earliest safe planting date to obtain adequate plant populations and maximum yield. Specific objectives were to determine: 1. The effects of high temperature, light and reduced oxygen on induction of secondary dormancy. 2. The effects of soil moisture and temperature on seed germination and seedling emergence. 3. The effects of planting date, depth of planting and soil temperature on stand establishment. 4. The effects of planting dates on yield. Imbibed seeds of dormant and non-dormant lots 'Mermaid' meadowfoam were subjected to high temperature, light and reduced oxygen treatments for 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 days. Following treatment, the seeds were removed to optimum germination conditions to assess the degree of dormancy induced by the various environmental factors. The effect of soil moisture on seed germination was determined at four alternating temperatures in seed germinators to simulate field conditions during August, September, October and November. Field plantings were made on several dates in 1984 and 1985 and soil temperatures were recorded during the emergence period. Yield trials with three lots of Mermaid meadowfoam were planted on six dates in 1985. Exposure of imbibed seeds to 25°C was the most effective means of inducing dormancy, with significant increases in dormancy occurring in both lots after 3 days' exposure. Germination of the non-dormant lot decreased from over 90% to less than 30% after 15 days of warm temperature. Exposure to continuous light was in inducing dormancy after 6 days' treatment. effective Imbibition in an atmosphere of 2% oxygen decreased germination after 9 days' treatment. Reduction in germination by light and reduced oxygen was only moderate, but a greater degree of dormancy would be expected with longer exposure. Optimum conditions for seedling emergence under simulated field conditions were a soil moisture content of 70% of field capacity and an alternating temperature of 10- 15 o C. In field trials, maximum seedling emergence occurred in the 24 September 1984 and 26 September 1985 plantings. Emergence was negatively and significantly correlated with the average minimum temperature for the 7 and 14-day periods after planting. There was less association with average maximum and daily temperatures. Seed yield increased from 665 kg ha⁻¹ from the 29 August planting to 1276 kg ha⁻¹ from the 10 October planting. The low yield from the earliest planting was largely due to lower plant density. These experiments affirmed that exposure of meadowfoam seeds to factors that inhibit germination will induce secondary dormancy after a minimum exposure period. In the field, induction of dormancy and reduced seedling emergence would be expected if soils are warm or poorly aerated. While light would not be a factor in field emergence, it should be avoided to obtain maximum germination in laboratory germination tests. These studies support advancing the recommended early planting date to 1 October if irrigation is available or soil moisture is adequate. Planting depths between 1.0 and 2.5 cm are equally satisfactory. Seed dormancy at this time is not a problem when planting 3-month-old seed from the current years' harvest.
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