Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) seed quality in relation to seed deterioration under accelerated aging conditions
This study was conducted to evaluate the response of ash (Fraxinus excelsior) seeds under accelerated aging test. The accelerated aging test was carried out at three different temperatures: 41, 43 and 45°C with four duration periods of 48, 72, 96, 144 and a relative humidity of 100%. The two seed lots of F. excelsior were subjected to tests of their quality including standard germination, vigor index, seedling growth and seedling dry weight. A completely randomized factorial design with four replications was used. Results indicated that, old seeds were more sensitive to accelerated aging than new seeds. Seeds of both lots had a reduction of viability and vigor after accelerated aging at 41°C for 96 h, 43 and 45°C for 72 to 144 h. Germination, vigor index, seedling growth and seedling dry weight showed a greater response to accelerated aging.
Key words: Fraxinus excelsior, accelerated aging, germination, seed vigor, seedling growth rates.