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Open AccessArticle

Assessing Seed Handling Processes to Facilitate a Community-Engaged Approach to Regional Forest Restoration

1
Five Rivers Metroparks, 409 E. Monument Ave, Dayton, OH 45402, USA
2
Department of Biology, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH 45469, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(4), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11040474
Received: 13 March 2020 / Revised: 14 April 2020 / Accepted: 17 April 2020 / Published: 23 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
In the Midwestern United States, there is a strong management impetus toward reforestation to replace trees lost to due to tree mortality and to establish forests on previously cleared properties. Here, we describe a public outreach and volunteer effort that aimed to generate positive, community-engaged restoration outcomes and report on a practical experiment involving seed handling. We obtained tree seeds that were donated by members of the community to local land managers. We evaluated the size of the seeds collected and tested the influence of common stratification media (none, sand and vermiculite) and seed size on germination success of three tree genera involved in restoration efforts: Quercus, Carya and Juglans (oak, hickory and walnut). We found a species-specific effect of media on germination, such that Carya and Quercus showed little response to their stratification media, but Juglans had higher germination rates when stratified with vermiculite. Further, all genera of seeds germinated faster when stratified with either media than without. Thus, we suggest stratifying these seeds with media to promote germination success. We also tested for seed size as a predictor of mortality during stratification, following the logic that a size-based selection criterion might save time and space during stratification. We found species-specific impacts of seed size on germination, but relationships were highly variable, and we suggest avoiding screening seeds based on their size. In addition to these scientific results, we describe the broader forest restoration project, which may be a useful model for engaging the community in restoration efforts. View Full-Text
Keywords: seed size; oak; hickory; walnut; restoration; germination seed size; oak; hickory; walnut; restoration; germination
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cobb, M.; Woods, M.J.; McEwan, R.W. Assessing Seed Handling Processes to Facilitate a Community-Engaged Approach to Regional Forest Restoration. Forests 2020, 11, 474. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11040474

AMA Style

Cobb M, Woods MJ, McEwan RW. Assessing Seed Handling Processes to Facilitate a Community-Engaged Approach to Regional Forest Restoration. Forests. 2020; 11(4):474. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11040474

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cobb, Meredith; Woods, Michaela J.; McEwan, Ryan W. 2020. "Assessing Seed Handling Processes to Facilitate a Community-Engaged Approach to Regional Forest Restoration" Forests 11, no. 4: 474. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11040474

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