Effect of Harvesting Date on Seed Germination and Seed Oil Production of Salicornia herbacea L. (Case Study: Gomishan Lagoon, Gorgan, Iran)
Salicornia herbacea is a sensitive species to seed shedding. In order to determine the effect of harvesting date on seed shedding, seed germination and seed oil production, an experiment was conducted in Gomishan Lagoon rangelands, Golestan province, Iran. Seed samples were harvested in twenty 1 m2 plots in 12 times since Nov 6th as the initial date of seed setting until Dec 21st as the final stage of seed maturity in 2019. Sampling was first carried out once a week and increased to every two days at the end of sampling dates. In each plot, the number of shrubs, visual evaluation of plant color changes from green to red, and brown coupled with the weight of the spilled seeds were recordedon each sampling date. Then, the required amount of seeds was randomly taken for the germination test and oil extraction. The obtained data were analyzed using PAST software. The results of analysis of variance showed significant differences between sampling dates on seed germination and oil percent (p <0.05). The highest and lowest germination rates with average values of 91% and 98% were obtained in the initial and final stages of harvesting, respectively. Also, the highest and lowest oil yield with average values of 19% and 16% was obtained in the middle and final stages of seed maturity. The results of multivariate analysis showed significant relationships between the seed shedding and plant color (green, red and brown) (p <0.05). According to the results, among the visible plant traits, the brown color (dryness) in up to 60% of the plants had the lowest shedding rate and was recommended as a good indicator for determining the suitable date to harvest Salicornia herbacea seeds.