Deterioration rates of brazilwood seeds (Caesalpinia echinata Lam.) under high temperatures

<div><p>ABSTRACT Caesalpinia echinata seeds deteriorate in less than three months at ambient temperature, although they can remain viable for up to five years when kept under freezing temperatures. We studied the deterioration of brazilwood seeds when submitted to different conditions of temperature and humidity aiming to check the applicability of mathematical models for predicting loss of viability of those seeds. The results showed that the high temperatures preconized for the rapid deterioration and simulation of storability produced an irregular behavior, suggesting that the deteriorative metabolism of these seeds may not correspond to the metabolism during the natural storage. Applying the equations, seeds with 8% water content stored at 7 ºC could be stored for five years, while the literature shows that these seeds would not tolerate more than a year. On the other hand, the prediction of storage with 10% of water content at -18 ºC would be, by these equations, 128 years, while the literature shows that seeds under these conditions would lose viability in less than ten years. The results showed that the current models might present restrictions on their application, depending on the species and conditions.</p></div>