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Effects of pretreatments on Corema album (L.) D. Don (subsp. album) seeds' germination


Corema album (Ericaceae), “Camarinhas”, endemic of the Atlantic dunes of the Iberian Peninsula has the possibility to become a new niche berry crop. Considering the agronomic and market possibilities for this species, the initial research step is the development of a seed germination protocol. We characterized C. album populations along its biogeographical area. The results show that different seeds characteristics differ significantly between sites. We also tested the effect of pretreatments on the germination of C. album seeds (subsp. album) from Duna de Quiaios in 2011, from Comporta in 2011 and Aldeia do Meco in 2011 and in 2012. The results show that there is site-to-site variation in the same year and year-to-year variation in a particular site in percentage of germinated seeds. Acid scarification (30, 60 and 120 minutes) followed by 1000 ppm of gibberellic acid was the most effective pretreatment in breaking dormancy of C. album and this pretreatment promote the best germination from seeds collected from Aldeia do Meco 2011 (30.3%) after 175 days. Our results suggest that the seeds had physiological dormancy. Considering the 2800 seeds collected: 54.5% ruptured the seed coat and 7.7% germinated.