Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Addressing Seedling Production Challenges for Hispaniolan Pine and Snowberry Public Deposited

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  • The use of native plants in restoration and afforestation has increased worldwide as their benefits to habitat quality, ecosystem services and local community well-being become widely known. In many restoration and afforestation sites, the most cost-effective and efficient way to establish plants is to use seedlings. Unfortunately, there is a lack of propagation knowledge on how to germinate and grow high-quality seedlings for many native plant species, limiting their production in nurseries and their use in restoration and afforestation. The objectives for this research were to develop protocols for producing two native species important to restoration and afforestation, Hispaniolan pine (Pinus occidentalis) and snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus). Chapter 2 describes a two-part study to develop protocols to germinate and reduce seedborne fungi on P. occidentalis. It was found that the germination of P. occidentalis was unaffected by seed moisture content or cold stratification length and a 1-hour soak in hydrogen peroxide followed by a 1-hour rinse in running water was effective at reducing seedborne fungi without negatively effecting germination. Chapter 3 describes a study on the effect of nursery irrigation on the survival, morphology and physiology of P. occidentalis that experienced various levels of drought. Hispaniolan pine seedlings were subjected to moderate or severe drought preconditioning or were well watered (no preconditioning), then seedlings experienced no drought, moderate drought and severe drought after a simulated planting. Moderate drought preconditioning produced seedlings with higher rates of survival on droughty sites without a decrease in seedling growth when compared to seedlings with no preconditioning or severe drought preconditioning. Chapter 4 describes a study that investigated S. albus seed coat permeability to water and the effect of seed moisture content on stratification requirements needed to break dormancy. Symphoricarpos albus has a water-permeable seed coat. The stratification treatments performed were ineffective at breaking seed dormancy and recommendations for future study are presented. These results will contribute to a growing body of knowledge on how to propagate high-quality seedlings using low-cost and nontechnical methods available to nurseries throughout the world.
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