Knowledge of the desiccation sensitivity of Alibertia edulis seeds is essential to provide adequate conditions for maintaining viability during storage. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of variations in the water content, environmental conditions, and storage periods on the conservation of A. edulis seeds. After processing, the seeds were dried under ambient conditions to water contents of 20, 15, 10 and 5±2%, and then subjected to storage under laboratory (25°C), cold chamber (16°C), refrigerator (8°C), and freezer (-18°C) conditions for zero, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180 days. To assess the physiological potential of the seeds, protrusion of the primary root, percentage of normal seedlings, germination speed index, total seedling length and total dry mass of seedlings were performed. A completely randomized factorial split-plot design (4 water contents × 4 temperature × 7 storage periods) was used for the experiment. A. edulis seeds tolerated water content reduction to 5% and storage under room temperature and cold chamber storage conditions for 150 days. Seeds with water content between 10 and 5% did not tolerate more than 60 days of freezing conditions, confirming their physiological behavior as intermediate.
Key words: Brazilian savanna, conservation, drying, Rubiaceae.
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