Seed collection environment: Effects of forest cover reduction on biometrics and seed lot quality of Bowdichia virgilioides Kunth
Considering the growing demand for seed production and seedlings for forest restoration, addressing the implications of landscape changes regarding germination of native species becomes of great value for directing seed collections. The objective of this study is to evaluate the influence of seed collection environment on germination and biometry of fruits and diaspores of Bowdichia virgilioides. Fruits were collected in two forest fragments with distinct characteristics (forest I, open canopy; and forest II, closed canopy), and in isolated trees in pastures. Fruit and seed biometry of the three collection environments was carried out, and a germination test was conducted in a completely randomized design with three treatments (forest I, forest II, and open area) and twenty replicates. Collection site, and therefore changes in forest cover, influences the biometry of fruits and seeds, resulting in lighter seeds and fruits with a smaller size in the fragment with a recent history of disturbance (forest I), as well as the vigor of diaspores of Bowdichia virgilioides. Seeds from forest I expressed a greater vigor, while seeds from the pasture area presented a higher propensity to death and formation of abnormal seedlings. For the production of seedlings and commercialization of seeds for forest restoration, the environment of origin of seeds should be taken into account. It is not recommended to use lots of seedlings from Bowdichia virgilioides seeds from isolated trees, such as those located on pastures and roads.