SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.61 issue2Comparative anatomy of leaflets of Zamia acuminata and Z. pseudomonticola (Zamiaceae) in Costa RicaUse of a Geographic Information System and lichens to map air pollution in a tropical city: San José, Costa Rica author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links


Revista de Biología Tropical

On-line version ISSN 0034-7744Print version ISSN 0034-7744


ESCOBAR ESCOBAR, Diego Fernando  and  TORRES G., Alba Marina. Morphology, ecophysiology and germination of seeds of the Neotropical tree Alibertia patinoi (Rubiaceae). Rev. biol. trop [online]. 2013, vol.61, n.2, pp.547-556. ISSN 0034-7744.

Alibertia patinoi (Rubiaceae). Alibertia patinoi (Rubiaceae) is of  economic and cultural importance for communities in the Colombian Pacific and Amazon regions, where it is cultivated and mature fruits are highly appreciated and consumed. Since there is a lack of knowledge of the seed physiology of this species, we describe here the germination behavior and morphometry of seeds of Alibertia patinoi, and relate them to its habitat. Fruits were collected from a mixed food crop and a commercial plantation in Guaimía village, Buenaventura, Colombia, a tropical rain forest area. We measured length, width, thickness, mass (n=1 400), and moisture content of seeds (n=252). Primary dormancy tests were conducted (n=200), followed by imbibition (n=252) and germination dynamics, under different conditions of light and temperature specific to understory and forest clearings (n=300 seeds). Finally, seed storage behavior was established (n=100 seeds). We observed that size and mass of seeds had a narrow range of values that did not differ within or among fruits and that the species did not exhibit primary dormancy. The seeds are recalcitrant, and recently harvested seeds exhibited higher seed moisture content (ca. 44%) and continuous metabolism. The seed germination percentage was observed to be higher under the specific dense canopy forest light and temperature conditions; furthermore, neither enriched far-red light nor darkness conditions inhibited germination. We concluded that rapid germination could be the establishment strategy of this species. Also, the physiological traits (i.e., rapid germination rate, low germination requirements, absence of primary dormancy, and recalcitrant behavior) and seed size and mass, suggest that A. patinoi is adapted to conditions of mature tropical rain forests.

Keywords : climax species; far-red light; mature tropical rain forest; non-pioneer species; non-dormant seeds; rapid germination strategy; recalcitrant seeds.

        · abstract in Spanish     · text in English     · English ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License