Temperature and light requirements for germination of species of Velloziaceae from different Brazilian rocky outcrops

ABSTRACT Germination is the first step to successful plant establishment. The range of factors that promote germination varies among species. Light and temperature requirements for the germination of species of Velloziaceae were investigated. Seeds of Barbacenia flava, B. markgrafii, B. purpurea, B. williamsi, Vellozia alata, V. compacta, V. glochidea and V. plicata were collected from rocky outcrops located in different Brazilian states and were incubated for germination at 10 to 40 °C in light or dark conditions. Seed mass and length were measured for each species. In general, all species exhibited a high germination percentage at temperatures of 15-40 °C in the light, with the optimal temperature being 25-30 °C for species of Barbacenia and 30 °C for species of Vellozia. Barbacenia flava, V. compacta and, particularly, B. markgrafii, germinated in the dark. In contrast, B. purpurea exhibited an absolute requirement for light and the most restricted range of temperature to germinate. Germination responses and seed traits were related to the microclimate where the species were collected, and germinability in darkness is likely a common trait for species of Velloziaceae from the Espinhaço Range.