Salinity effects and differential germination of several half-sib families of baldcypress from different seed sources

Ken W. Krauss, Jim L. Chambers, James A. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Saltwater intrusion is responsible for the destruction of large expanse of baldcypress swamps along the Gulf of Mexico in the southern United States. Recent restoration efforts have focused on the identification, and subsequent planting, of moderately salt-tolerant plant material within these 'ghost forests.' The long-term persistence of cypress swamps in these areas, however, will ultimately depend on the germination of seeds from the improved parent trees. This study investigates the germination capacity of seeds collected from baldcypress parent trees, located in both freshwater and brackish water environments. Seeds were tested at four tent salinity levels under controlled conditions for a period of 65 days. Mean germination under the 0, 2, 4, and 6 g 1(-1) seawater treatments was 26.3, 22.9, 15.4, and 10.2%, respectively. Although none of the eight families used in this study had a germination greater than 50%, three families demonstrated superiority in their germination capacity under all four salinity treatments. In general, brackish water seed sources had greater germination success than the two families from freshwater sources. Results indicate that families previously identified as moderately salt-tolerant based on physiological and morphological parameters may be equally successful in seed germination capacity under moderately saline conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-68
Number of pages16
JournalNew Forests
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998


  • Coastal Louisiana
  • Salt tolerance
  • Saltwater intrusion
  • Seed polymorphism
  • Taxodium distichum
  • Wetlands

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry


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