Year of Publication

2004

Document Type

Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Carol Baskin

Second Advisor

Jerry Baskin

Abstract

The Panama Canal Watershed (PCW) represents a special opportunity for studies related to seed dormancy in the tropics with both applied and basic research objectives. There is a clear need for seed information for nursery planning in restoration projects that involves use of a large number of local species. Moreover, the strong rainfall gradient along the 60 km of continuous lowland forest in the PCW represents an excellent opportunity to understand dormancy and its role as an adaptive trait that evolved in response to environmental factors. This study presents useful seed information for 100 tree species native to the PCW. For each species, it includes collection system, fruiting time, seed mass, seed moisture content, germination, and longevity in storage at 20??C. For the first time, an attempt is made to classify (to class sensu Baskin andamp; Baskin 2004) the class of dormancy in seeds of the PCW. An analysis of the relationship between class of dormancy and seed mass, moisture content, longevity, germination patterns, and seasonality is presented. The relationship between class of seed dormancy and longevity and geographical distribution of species within the watershed based on the rainfall gradient was investigated.

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