Perspectives in restoration: storage and pretreatments of seeds for better germination of Sudanian savanna-woodland species
Insufficient knowledge of the germination ecology of local species is one of the main constraints to restoration of degraded rural lands. We tested seeds from fourteen Sudanian savanna species targeted for restoration for their response to two different pretreatments (conventional and prolonged acid pretreatments) and two different storage conditions (ambient room conditions and refrigerator at 4 C). For 6 of the studied species, longer soaking in sulphuric acid significantly improved germination rates and also reduced the germination time of some species. Storage condition, in general did not affect germination rates except for two species where cool storage depressed germination. The practical implication is that, for the species tested, when mature seeds are collected for plantation in the upcoming rainy season, there is no need to invest in infrastructure and energy for storing in cold conditions. The study also revealed that in general when seeds are stored in ambient conditions from the time of collection up to seeding time, although germination rate does not increase, germination time is shortened and this could be of great interest in synchronizing germination in real field conditions.