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Factors Affecting Seed and Seedling
Seed vigour is a term encompassing the sum total of those properties of the seed that determine the potential performance of the seed or seed lot during germination and seedling emergence (Perry, 1978). Rapid and uniform germination are among the properties of vigorous seeds (Argerish & Bradford, 1989). Low vigour adversely affects such factors as optimal emergence, stress resistance and uniform growth of emergent seedlings (Patrick et al, 2000) and is thus of great economic importance. Seeds, which grow well under the ideal conditions of the germination test, often do not perform so well when planted under the more stressful conditions of the field. Some seedlots perform particularly badly under stress, and are said to be of low vigour. A considerable amount of research has been carried out to discover the causes of low vigour, since if it could be prevented, fewer low-vigour seedlots would need to be wasted (pers.comm. Dr. A. Goldsworthy, 2003). Unfortunately, there does not seems to be a single underlying cause.…
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