Hydrothermal time germination models for radiata pine (Pinus radiata D.Don)
The objective of this study was to fit a hydrothermal germination model to germination data for a seedlot of radiata pine (Pinus radiata D. Don). Seeds were incubated for 50 d at constant temperatures and water potentials (T = 12.5–32.5C, 0 to -1.2MPa). Most seeds completed germination within 50 d, but for low C and/or non-optimal temperatures (T <17.5 C, T >25 C) many seeds did not complete germination. In general, germination data conformed to the hydrothermal model. Departures from the model were encountered for slow-germinating seeds at suboptimal temperatures (T <20 C). To account for these departures, two alternative hydrothermal models were fitted with an additional term for an upwards shift in seed base water potential with increasing time to germination. The alternative models more correctly predicted germination time than the original model. Similarly, reduced percentage germination at supra-optimal temperatures (T >20 C) was explained by including a term in the hydrothermal model which shifted the base water potential of seeds upwards towards zero, which in turn reduced the predicted rate that hydrothermal time would be accumulated by seeds. The rate of this upwards shift in base water potential was dependent on time to complete germination and ambient water potential as well as supra-optimal temperature.