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International Journal of Ecology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 438189, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/438189
Research Article

Potential Propagation by Seed and Cuttings of the Azorean Native Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull

Department of Biology, Azores University, Ponta Delgada, 9501-801 Azores, Portugal

Received 2 December 2013; Revised 16 February 2014; Accepted 19 February 2014; Published 25 March 2014

Academic Editor: Mariana Amato

Copyright © 2014 Maria João Pereira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This work investigates the potential propagation by seed and cuttings of the Azorean native Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull. for landscape conservation. With that purpose we have performed several germination and cuttings trials, using plant material from wild populations of this species. In the germination trials, we tested the effects of photoperiod length (8 and 16 h), temperature (10, 15, 20, and 20–10°C), seed age (6, 108, and 270 days), temperature of seed storage (4°C and room temperature), and seed surface sterilization on the germination characteristics. In the cuttings trials, we tested the effects of stem cutting type, cultural conditions, cuttings’ harvest month, and rooting substrates on the rooting percentages. The best percentages of germination, 93 and 90%, were obtained with fresh seeds and surface sterilized and sown under an 8 h photoperiod and with temperatures of 10°C or 15°C, respectively; germination after seed storage during 270 days is significantly superior (71%) when seeds are stored at 4°C. The best percentages of rooting were achieved for straight (96%) or heel cuttings (90%) harvested in March, planted on soil from natural stands of C. vulgaris and Erica azorica Hochst., outdoors in half shade, and partially covered with transparent polyethylene film.