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Seed germination and conservation of endemic, rare, and threatened aromatic plants of Cyprus

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This study investigated seed germination of seven endemic, rare, and threatened aromatic plants of Cyprus, belonging to the Lamiaceae family. The majority of the seeds for most of the studied taxa are non-dormant. Seeds of Micromeria cypria, Salvia veneris, and Teucrium divaricatm ssp. canescens germinate in a narrow range of cool temperatures (10-20 °C) and at a slow rate. These characteristics are common in Mediterranean species, and favor germination after the beginning of the rainy season. Salvia willeana and Nepeta troodi, two species growing at high altitudes, germinate at even lower temperatures and with a considerably lower germination rate. In both species, treatment with GA3 is effective in enhancing germination at unfavorable temperatures, while chilling is effective only for S. willeana. Sideritis cypria seeds germinate promptly at a relatively wider temperature range (10-25 °C). Germinability in Teucrium divaricatum ssp. canescens can be enhanced by treatments with nitrates, GA3, and light. The different germination behaviors detected are discussed in relation to the survival strategy of each species. The data presented in this paper provide useful information for the conservation of these endemic, rare, and threatened aromatic taxa of Cyprus.

Affiliations: 1: Nature Conservation Unit, Frederick University ; 2: Department of Botany, Faculty of Biology, University of Athens


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