Complex Combination of Seed Dormancy and Seedling Development Determine Emergence of Viburnum tinus (Caprifoliaceae)

L.M. Karlsson, Siti Hidayati, Jeffrey Walck, P. Milberg

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    33 Citations (Scopus)


    Background and Aims The shrub Viburnum tinus is widely distributed in mattoral vegetation of the Mediterranean basin. The purpose of the present study was to classify the seed dormancy type and examine the requirements for embryo growth, root protrusion and shoot emergence.• Methods Overwintered fruits were collected in western Spain in April 2001 and prepared in three ways: entire pericarp was removed, exocarp and mesocarp were removed or fruits were left intact. Fruits treated in these three ways were subjected to artificial annual temperature cycles or to constant temperature regimes for 1·5 years.• Key Results Removal of exocarp and mesocarp was necessary for embryo growth and germination. High temperature favoured dormancy alleviation and embryo growth, intermediate to low temperatures favoured root protrusion, and intermediate temperature shoot emergence. There was substantial germination at constant temperature regimes, indicating an overlap between temperature intervals suitable for the different stages of embryo and seedling development. Functionally, V. tinus has the same root and shoot emergence pattern that is described for other Viburnum species considered to have epicotyl dormancy. However, the requirement for high and low temperatures for radicle protrusion and epicotyl emergence, respectively, was missing in V. tinus; these characters are the foundation for the epicotyl dormancy classification.• Conclusions It is concluded that V. tinus does not have epicotyl dormancy. Instead, there is a combination of a weak morphophysiological dormancy and a slow germination process, where different temperatures during an annual cycle favour different development stages. The present study suggests that the first complete seedlings would emerge in the field 1·5 years after fruit maturation in October, i.e. seed dispersal during winter, embryo growth during the first summer, root protrusion and establishment during the second autumn and winter, and cotyledon emergence during the second spring.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)323-330
    JournalAnnals of Botany
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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