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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Germination of Seeds of Tamarix Ramosissima

Authors
item Young, James
item Clements, Darin
item Harmon, Daniel

Submitted to: Journal of Range Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 10, 2003
Publication Date: September 15, 2004
Citation: Young, J.A., Clements, C.D., Harmon, D. 2004. Germination of seeds of tamarix ramosissima. Journal of Range Management. 57:475-481.

Interpretive Summary: The germination of seeds of saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima)were conducted under a wide range of constant and alternating temperatures from 0EC through 40EC. Saltcedar seeds were collected from the Walker River Delta in western Nevada over a 3 year period for this study. Maximum germination of 98% and 100% were recorded 2 out of the 3 years, indicating the seeds of this species at this site are highly viable. No single temperature always supported optimum germination, but the temoperatures that most frequently supported optima were 10/20 (10EC for 16 hours and 20EC for 8hours), 10/25, 15/20, and constant 35EC. Comparison of saltcedar seed germination with the germination of tree willow (Salix exigua) and Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii), reveal that the seeds of saltcedar are equal in regimes with some germination, mean of optima, and maximum observed germination. For all other germination characteristics measured, saltcedar is lower than for the seeds of these woody species.

Technical Abstract: Saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima), also referred to as tamarix or tamarisk, is a shrub or small tree that is native to Central Asia. It was imported to western North America for use in ornamental and conservation plantings. It is not clear whether saltcedar invasion is the cause of changes in riparian communities or the consequence of stream changes in hydrology. Regardless, the presence of salt cedar is associated with dramatic changes in geomorphology, ground water availability, soil chemistry, plant community composition, and wildlife diversity. The germination of seeds of saltcedar are compared at a wide range of constant and alternating temperatures, 55, from 0EC through 40EC. Seeds were collected from the Walker River Delta in western Nevada over a 3 year period. For 2 of the 3 years of testing, optimum germination of 98% and 100% were observed, indicating the seed lots were highly viable. The temperatures that most frequently supported optimum germination were 10/20 (10EC for 16 hours, and 20EC for 8 hours), 10/25, 15/20, and constant 35EC.

Last Modified: 4/21/2014