Preliminary Evaluation of Storage Behavior of Cola lepidota (K. Schum) Seeds
A preliminary study was conducted to provide information on the behaviour of C. lepidota seeds in storage prior to a proper investigation into different storage temperature regimes, methods and their effect on the viability and subsequent germination of the seed. C. lepidota seeds used in the study were collected from the Swamp Forest Research Station, Onne, Rivers State small plantation. Two storage methods, bare storage and storage in closed container and two temperature regimes, 4º C (refrigeration) and room temperature (30ºC) were applied on the seed. There were a total of eighty-six (86) seeds allocated disproportionately to the treatments in a completely randomized design experimental layout. Data collected were number of decaying seeds and duration of decay (days). Due to non-normality of data after the Shapiro-Wilk test was conducted; the Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA was used for analysis, while Mann-Whitney test was used for pair wise comparison. The results showed that C. lepidota seeds decayed or dried up at an average rate of 1 seed/week when stored bare at room temperature (30ºC); storage in closed container accelerated the rate of seed decay to 6 seeds/week; while refrigeration at 4º C significantly reduced rate of seed decay to 1 seed in 29 weeks. This shows that storage by refrigeration is the best way to keep C. lepidota seeds fresh for a longer duration of time, the worst storage condition is in closed container at room temperature (30ºC), while, storage of the seeds bare at room temperature (30ºC) could only sustain the seeds for a few days. This information will serve as a guide for seed storage and handling when C. lepidota seeds are collected for later propagation or when there is the need to transport the seed a long distance.
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