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Journal of Forests

December 2021, Volume 8, 2, pp 153-160

Effect of Desiccation and Storage Environment on Longevity of Ehretia cymosa Thonn. Seeds

Peter Murithi Angaine


Stephen Muriithi Ndungu


Alice Adongo Onyango


Jesse O. Owino

Peter Murithi Angaine 1 ,

Stephen Muriithi Ndungu 2
Alice Adongo Onyango 1 Jesse O. Owino 4

  1. Rift Valley Eco-region Research Program, Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) Londiani, Kenya. 1

  2. Central Highlands Eco-region Research Program, Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) Nairobi, Kenya. 2

  3. Rift Valley Eco-region Research Program, Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) Londiani, Kenya.` 4

Pages: 153-160

DOI: 10.18488/journal.101.2021.82.153.160

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Article History:

Received: 25 September, 2020
Revised: 11 June, 2021
Accepted: 05 July, 2021
Published: 29 July, 2021


Globally, forestry faces challenges in the availability of seeds due to limited knowledge on seed handling of various species. Forestry seeds are constantly being reviewed and classified as either recalcitrant, intermediate, or orthodox based on their storage behavior. It is essential to understand the tree seed storage behavior to maintain seed viability and thus minimize seed losses. There is scanty literature combining factors of seed moisture content (6%, 9%, 12%, 15%, and 20%), seed storage temperature (20oC, 5oC and -20oC), seed storage duration (1, 4, 9 and 12 months), and germination in different sites with varying environmental variables. Ehretia cymosa is important in the Afromontane forestry landscape as a medicinal, rehabilitation, and conservation species. This study conducted desiccation and storage studies and their influence on the viability of E. cymosa seeds. The study sought to determine the optimum conditions for the storage of Ehretia cymosa that maintains viability. This study observed that E. cymosa dried to seed moisture content of 6%, stored for 12 months at 20oC and sown in the laboratory had the highest germination performance (27.6 ± 3.18%) (p<0.05). This confirms that E. cymosa seeds exhibit orthodox storage behavior. The authors recommend longer storage studies (>12months) to determine the actual longevity of the seeds of this species. The significance of these results would be useful for foresters and farmers that would need to use this species for various purposes.
Contribution/ Originality
The paper’s primary contribution is finding that Ehretia cymosa seeds exhibit orthodox storage behavior. This finding is important since it will improve the current practice of handling and storage of E. cymosa seeds to enhance viability and minimize seed losses.


Ehretia cymosa seeds, Germination, Moisture content, Storage duration, Storage temperature.


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The government of Kenya through Kenya Forestry Research Institute, provided facilitation for data collection and experimentation.

Competing Interests:

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


The authors wish to acknowledge the Kenya Forestry Research Institute and the staff of the Kenya Forestry Seed Centre laboratory for the support accorded throughout the process of this study.

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