The overall goal of the project is to determine the factors responsible for the inefficiently of existing, pre-sowing treatments so that beechnut germination and subsequent emergence of beech germinants can be improved. The results will be used to develop protocols for providing better and more economical use of beechnuts including field emergence and for obtaining sufficient quantities of seedlings for reforestation.
The project focuses on: (i) determining the conditions for pre-sowing treatment of beechnuts with various, pre-storage dormancy levels,(ii) assessing the impact of weather conditions during seed maturation on the quality and dormancy breaking requirement of beechnuts,(iii) developing procedures to determine the duration of dormancy breaking of beechnuts, and (iv) examining the possibility of reducing the dormancy breaking, pre-sowing treatment and subsequently increasing beechnut germination and germinant emergence. The dormancy will be quantified using endogenous ABA and verified using the test of fumarase activity. The anatomical structure of dormant seeds after different pre-sowing treatments will be documented using image analysis.