1. bookVolume 40 (2021): Issue 4 (December 2021)
Journal Details
First Published
24 Aug 2013
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
access type Open Access

Salt and Drought Effect on Germination and Initial Growth of Lavandula stoechas: A Potential Candidate for Rehabilitation of the Mediterranean Disturbed Coastal Lands

Published Online: 23 Dec 2021
Page range: 301 - 311
Received: 12 Apr 2021
Accepted: 08 Jul 2021
Journal Details
First Published
24 Aug 2013
Publication timeframe
4 times per year

Information relating to germination and seedling emergence of a plant aids in determining the species spatiotemporal distribution and also facilitates in designing appropriate plant management strategies within an ecosystem. Lavandula stoechas L. (Lamiaceae), a naturally occurring shrub, is particularly used in pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. This species, indeed, has the potential for rehabilitation of degraded costal lands. However, various aspects of its seed biology have not yet been recognised. Here, we aimed to assess the effects of different soluble salts (NaCl, CaCl2, MgCl2 and Na2SO4) and drought (as simulated by polyethylene glycol, [PEG]6000) on seed germination patterns and early seedling growth responses. Seeds treated with five iso-concentration (0–100 mM) salinities and five PEG6000 (0 to −1 MPa) levels were incubated in a controlled germinator set at 20°C. The preliminary results revealed that seeds of L. stoechas lacked primary/innate dormancy and they germinated abundantly (89.2% germination) and fast (7.4% day−1) in the absence of stress. Regardless of the kind of salt applied, the germination percentage (GP) and germination rate index (GRI) fell significantly with increasing salinity, and germination ceased completely at 100 mM Na2SO4. In fact, the salinity tolerance index (STI) showed that, among all salts tested, Na2SO4 appeared to have more inhibitory action on germination. In addition, L. stoechas was found to be tolerant to moderate salty stress (<50 mM) in early growth phase. The salt solution parameters (i.e. concentration, electrical conductivity [EC] and salt content) were best correlated with seed/seedling metrics. pH was not a good predictor for salt effects at the germination/seedling stages. Overall, this species seems to be sensitive to drought at the germination and initial growth phases. The germination recovery potential of L. stoechas in both stresses stipulates that this species can be regarded as a promising candidate in the rehabilitation of Mediterranean disturbed coastal habitats.


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