The aim of this present study was to evaluate the influence of drying time and temperature on the physiological quality of pequi diaspores (Caryocar brasiliense Camb.). The diaspores were maintained in a forced-air circulation oven at 57±2 and 37±2°C for 0, 4, 8 and 12 days. The diaspores that were dehydrated at 37±2°C for up to 12 days showed a linear increase in the speed and percentage of emergence; however, the physiological quality of the diaspores was negatively affected when the dehydration was performed at 57±2°C. The drying of the diaspores at 37°C for up to 12 days both increased emergence and also resulted in seedlings with longer roots, a wider stem diameter and a greater number of leaves and leaf area. Drying at 37°C for up to 12 days promoted a greater emergence and initial growth of pequi seedlings, indicating that this is a possible orthodox behavior for seeds of this species.
Key words: Native fruit plants, Cerrado, desiccation tolerance.
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