The University of Arizona

Cation concentration in post-imbibed winterfat seeds as influenced by imbibition temperature.

D.T. Booth, M.B. McDonald


Winterfat [Eurotia lanata (Pursh) Moq.] is a chenopod shrub often used in range seedings because of its palatability and nutritive value. Environmental conditions influence winterfat germination and seedling vigor and, therefore, seedling success. We tested the hypothesis that seed imbibition at warm temperatures damages seed membranes, resulting in lower post-imbibition concentrations of seed cations. Energy-dispersive x-ray microanalysis of Cl uptake and fresh weight increase over time gave evidence that winterfat seeds imbibe more rapidly at 25 than at 4 degrees C. However, imbibition of seeds at 20 degrees C did not result in consistently lower post-imbibition cation concentrations. Although imbibition is more rapid at warm temperatures, the post-imbibition concentration of cations in seeds imbibed at 20 degrees C does not justify the conclusion that warm imbibition damages winterfat seed membranes.


cations;seedling vigor;imbibition;seedling growth;ambient temperature;Krascheninnikovia lanata;sodium;potassium;magnesium;calcium;seed germination

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