Seed germination and survival of Thrinax radiata ( Arecaceae), a threatened species in the Yucatan Peninsula
AbstractThrinax radiata is listed as a threatened palm species in Mexico. Habitat loss and local use are the main threats. Analysis and comparison of field and laboratory experiments allowed us to obtain direct estimates of seed germination and survival, as well as an evaluation of the main causes of seed loss. Under controlled conditions germination was greater than 90%. Embryo immaturity retarded and decreased (70%) germination. Seed storage had a negative effect on seed viability. In the field, only one third of the seeds were viable after six months, decreasing to 0.1% a year later. Insect damage was the main cause of death. Field percentage of cummulative germination was 15% after 18 months; insufficient water is suggested as the factor delaying germination. Propagation of this palm in community-owned nurseries is being implemented as an in situ conservation and management alternative. This practice has smaller demographic impact than trunk harvest.
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