Seeds of Buxus wallichiana Baillon are dormant and not much information is available on their shelf life under storage conditions. Therefore, this study was conducted to investigate the seed storage behaviour of B. wallichiana, an important woodcraft species of the Indian Himalayan Region. Healthy matured fruits of B. wallichiana were collected from Matkangra block, Chakrata Forest Division of Uttarakhand. The seeds were extracted, cleaned, processed manually and their initial viability was tested through germination test. After initial viability determination, seeds were processed and placed in air-tight plastic boxes for storage at four temperatures viz., ambient room temperature (Control), 5°C, 15°C and -20°C. Thereafter, at every two months interval, germination test was conducted to assess the viability of the stored seeds. The results revealed that the initial viability of freshly collected seeds was 26.66 per cent and it took 7.83 days to complete germination. After two months of storage the germination percentage increased in the seeds stored at all the temperatures going up to maximum (73.33%) in the ones stored at -20°C followed by 15°C (66.67%) as compared to 50% in the seeds stored at room temperature. Similarly, the mean germination time also increased proportionally, longest being 44 days for seeds stored at -20°C. Seeds stored at ambient room temperature lost viability completely at 6 months storage duration while almost half the viability was lost in seeds stored at 15°C (36.67%) and -20°C (26.67%). From present study, it can be concluded that the longevity of the B. wallichiana seeds is around 12 months when the seeds are stored at lower temperatures, maintaining the viability about 23% at 5°C and 15°C and 16.67 % at -20°C.
Buxus, Germination, Seed storage, Temperature, Viability
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