- October 28, 2015
Seeds are either stored in a soil seed bank or retained on maternal plants until they are released (aerial seed bank). Though there are extensive studies on the germination requirements of seeds in soil banks of saline habitats, studies conducted for halophytes with aerial seed banks are rare. We assessed the impact of aerial and room-temperature storages on the light and temperature requirements during germination in two small-seeded halophytes: Halocnmum strobilaceum having a short-term aerial seed bank (less than one year) and Halopeplis perfoliata having a longer term aerial seed bank (up to two years). Seed storage in the aerial bank reduced the germination in H. strobilaceum, but either increased it (5-months storage) or had no effect (17-months storage) in H. perfoliata. Seeds of both species that were stored in aerial bank germinated to higher percentages in light than in darkness, indicating that considerable portions of the seed populations are light sensitive. Seeds of H. perfoliata attained less than 5.0% germination in darkness at higher temperatures, compared to more than 90.0% in light. The results support the hypothesis that the aerial seed bank is an adaptive strategy for survival in the saline habitats of the two species. © 2015, Pakistan Botanical Society. All rights reserved.