Acid-digestion improves native grass seed handling and germination
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The ability to reliably deliver germinable seeds to site through conventional mechanised seeding techniques is a major challenge for many native grass species where seed appendages cause issues with flowability. This study successfully developed an effective acid-digestion technique to delicately remove caryopses of four Australian native grass species from surrounding structures without reducing germination performance. The removal of appendages makes seed handling more effective and aids accurate placement of the seed in the soil/growth medium. Furthermore, in one species (Microlaena stipoides) germination after acid treatment improved by 25%, the result of removing germination inhibiting mechanisms. The technique developed is readily scale-able making it an ideal seed treatment to assist in improving seed handling and increasing seed use efficiency of some native grass species in broad-scale restoration programmes.
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