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Seed of New Zealand Nothofagus species: studies of seed weight, viability, shape and the effect of varying stratification periods.

Authors: N. J. Ledgard, P. W. Cath
Publication: New Zealand Journal of Forestry, Volume N.Z.J.For. 1983, Issue N.Z.J.For. 28(2) 1983, pp 150-162, Aug 1983
Publisher: New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Abstract: Eighty-two seedlots of the five New Zealand taxa of Nothofagus; red beech (N. fusca), silver beech (N. menziesii), hard beech (N. truncata), black beech (N. solandri var. solandri) and mountain beech (N. solandri var. cliffortioides) were collected from different localities throughout New Zealand. Each seedlot was weighed and, where there was sufficient seed, tested for viability. The ethanol soak test was preferred for the bulk testing of viability because it gave similar results to other accepted viability tests and was quicker and less destructive of seed. Seed weights were positively correlated with viability, and were generally found to lie within the ranges ascribed by previous authors. Latitude of origin appeared to have no influence on seed weight and viability. No correlation was detected between seed weight/ viability and altitude of origin. Red, silver and mountain beech clearly benefited from a stratification period of 70 days, whilst the benefit for black beech was negligible. The shape of mountain beech seed {triquetrous or flat) had no effect on seed viability or weight.