Dormancy – Causes and Breaking

There can be various reasons behind the seed dormancy. It may act helpful, but sometimes negative. So, under such circumstances it should be broken with proper method. These are discussed below.

Causes of Seed Dormancy

  • Hard seed coat – These are impermeable to water, gases so restrict water uptake and oxygen exchange.
  • Immature embryo – Seeds with small and undeveloped embryos do not germinate.
  • Germination inhibitors – Seeds contain some chemical plant growth regulators, which inhibit seed germination.
  • Period after ripening – Some seeds have a period of ripening. Those seed germinate only after the completion of this period.

Methods of Breaking Dormancy

  • Scarification
  • Stratification
  • Using chemicals like KNO3 and Gibberellic acid

Advantages of Seed Dormancy

  • Plant embryo survives during adverse conditions of weather, which are not favorable for growth(like winter).
  • Creation of a seed bank
  • Seed dormancy allows more time for widespread seed dispersal
  • In some cases of dormancy one year’s seeds do not germinate the same year, this improves species survival