Plant reintroductions have become an important component of species recovery strategies. To favor establishment and survival rates of reintroduced specimens, the use of mature individuals is often recommended. Producing individuals from seed can be challenging, because little is known about the germination requirements of many endangered species. Here, we investigated whether Carex lupuliformis achenes can be germinated at high rates under semi-controlled ex situ conditions. More specifically, we aimed to determine which simple stratification technique allows higher/faster germination rates, whether scarification speeds up the germination process, and which light intensity allows higher/faster germination rates. We found that a brief cold-wet stratification (one month in wet sand) increases the likelihood that C. lupuliformis achenes will germinate, but that a similar germination rate can be obtained by storing achenes at 4°C for six months in a plastic bag. Although scarification did not affect final germination rates, scarified achenes germinated significantly faster than unscarified ones. Finally, we found that a light intensity of 25% resulted in significantly higher final germination rates than lower light intensities. In conclusion, our experiments showed that C. lupuliformis is easy to propagate ex situ, as a variety of treatments resulted in relatively high germination rates.
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Vol. 119 • No. 977