Germination Response of Forage Legumes to Constant and Alternating Temperatures


Canadian Journal of Plant Science 53(4): 797-800


ISSN/ISBN: 0008-4220
DOI: 10.4141/cjps73-154
Accession: 068493864

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Daily germination counts were made on alfalfa (Medicago media Pers.), sainfoin (Onobrychis viciaefolia Scop.), sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis L.), and birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.) seeds germinated at constant and alternating temperatures for 21 days. Total germination was similar at all temperature regimes except the regime employing 2 C for 12 h followed by 13 C for 12 h (2C/12h/13C/12h). The emergence at 8 days after seeding was similar for constant and alternating temperature regimes (at 8 days) except for the 7C/24h vs. 2C/12h/13C/12h regime. Sweet clover germinated faster than alfalfa and birdsfoot trefoil; alfalfa and birdsfoot trefoil had similar rates of germination and sainfoin had the slowest rate of germination. The 2C/12h/13C/12h regime reduced total germination of all legumes, with sainfoin being less affected than the other legumes. Alfalfa, cult Rambler and Drylander, and sainfoin showed slight enhancement of germination percentage at some regimes as compared with the germination percentage at 21C/24h (check). It was concluded that cold alternating temperature, such as encountered during spring field conditions, reduced both rate and total germination of the legumes, whereas cold constant temperature reduced the rate of germination but did not affect final germination.