American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Seed Germination and Seedling Survival of Spartina alterniflora Loisel

Patrick D. Biber and John D. Caldwell

DOI : 10.3844/ajabssp.2008.633.638

American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Volume 3, Issue 3

Pages 633-638

Abstract

Spartina alterniflora (smooth cordgrass) is a widespread intertidal salt marsh plant that is frequently used in coastal restoration projects. Seeds collected in 2004 were tested for seed germination and seedling survival after 6 months of cold seed storage to determine differences among collection locations (experiment 1). Seeds collected in 2005, after Hurricane Katrina, were tested for seed germination and seedling survival from 0 to 15 months of cold seed storage time to determine minimum and maximum storage time and seedling survival rates (experiment 2). Seed germination increased from 1-4 months of cold, wet storage (stratification) and then began to decline. Survival of the seedlings was highest after 2 months of stratification. In experiment 1, seedling size was found to vary widely among seedlings of the same source and age. Seedling height at 22 days after planting ranged from 2-16 cm, despite identical environmental conditions. Selective breeding could target plants with fast early growth characteristics to promote strains that can be raised quickly in a nursery in response to demands for restoration.

Copyright

© 2008 Patrick D. Biber and John D. Caldwell. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.