Application and use of sulphuric acid pretreatment to improve seed germination of three acacia species

Main Article Content

Abdenour Kheloufi Lahouaria Mounia Mansouri Faiza Zineb Boukhatem


The experiments were led to study the effect of pretreatments and their duration on germination behavior of three Acacia species A. cyanophylla Lindl., A. farnesiana L. and A. decurrens Willd. by analyzing three parameters (GP: germination percentage; MGT: germination mean time (days) and GRI: germination rate index) for various times of incubation (5, 10 and 15 days) in Petri dishes. Pre-sowing treatment included immersion in concentrated sulphuric acid for 60, 90 and 120 minutes. The sowing in distilled water (Control) had no positive effect on the germination induction. Generally, the seed pretreatments were very useful to improve germination. Time of immersion significantly (P < 0.0001) affected GP, MGT and GRI in all species. Increasing the duration of sulphuric acid immersion (from 60 to 120 min) improved the germination percentages for A. cyanophylla and A. farnesiana seeds to (98% and 99%), respectively. However, increasing this duration had a negative effect on A. decurrens seed germination, reducing the final germination percentage from 97% at 60 minutes of immersion to 43% at 120 minutes.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
KHELOUFI, Abdenour; MOUNIA MANSOURI, Lahouaria; ZINEB BOUKHATEM, Faiza. Application and use of sulphuric acid pretreatment to improve seed germination of three acacia species. REFORESTA, [S.l.], n. 3, p. 1-10, july 2017. ISSN 2466-4367. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 25 sep. 2017. doi:
Dormancy; Sulphuric Acid; Scarification; Tree Reproduction; Reforestation


Azad MS, Biswas RK, Matin MA (2012) Seed germination of Albizia procera (Roxb.) Benth. in Bangladesh: a basis for seed source variation and pre-sowing treatment effect. For Stud China 14: 124-130.
Azad MS, Nahar N, Matin MA (2013) Effects of variation in seed sources and pre-sowing treatments on seed germination of Tamarindus indica: a multi-purpose tree species in Bangladesh. Forest Science and Practice 15: 121-129.
Azad MS, Zedan-Al-Musa M, Matin MA (2010) Effects of pre-sowing treatments on seed germination of Melia azedarach. J Forestry Res 21:193-196.
Bashan Y, Salazar BG, Moreno M, Lopez BR, Linderman RG (2012) Restoration of eroded soil in the Sonoran Desert with native leguminous trees using plant growth-promoting microorganisms and limited amounts of compost and water. J Environ Manag 102: 26-36.
Boukhatem ZF, Merabet C, Bekki A, Sekkour S, Domergue O, Dupponois R, Antoine G (2016) Nodular bacterial endophyte diversity associated with native Acacia spp. in desert region of Algeria. Afr J Microbiol Res 10: 634-645.
Bradford KJ, Benech-Arnold RL, Côme D, Corbineau F (2008) Quantifying the sensitivity of barley seed germination to oxygen, abscisic acid, and gibberellin using a population-based threshold model. J Exp Bot 59: 335-347.
Burrows GE, Virgona JM, Heady RD (2009) Effect of boiling water, seed coat structure and provenance on the germination of Acacia melanoxylon seeds. Aust J Bot 57: 139-147.
Cao S, Tian T, Chen L, Dong X, Yu X, Wang G (2010) Damage caused to the environment by reforestation policies in arid and semi-arid areas of China. Ambio 39: 279-283.
Chauhan BS, Johnson DE (2009) Germination, emergence, and dormancy of Mimosa pudica. Weed Biol Manag 9: 38-45.
Cox LG, Munger HM, Smith EA (1945) A germination inhibitor in the seed coats of certain varieties of cabbage. Plant Physiol 20: 289-294.
Dayamba SD, Santi S, Savadogo P (2014). Improving seed germination of four savanna-woodland species: Effects of fire-related cues and prolonged soaking in sulphuric acid. J Trop For Sci 26: 16-21.
de Faria SM, Diedhiou AG, de Lima HC, Ribeiro RD, Galiana A, Castilho AF et al (2010) Evaluating the nodulation status of leguminous species from the Amazonian forest of Brazil. J Exp Bot 61:3119-3127.
de Paula AS, Delgado CML, Paulilo MTS, Santos M (2012) Breaking physical dormancy of Cassia leptophylla and Senna macranthera (Fabaceae: Caesalpinioideae) seeds: water absorption and alternating temperatures. Seed Sci Res 22: 259-267.
Diouf M, Samba SAN, Ndoye O, Van Damme P (2015) Difference in germination rate of Baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) provenances contrasting in their seed morphometrics when pretreated with concentrated sulfuric acid. Afr J Agric Res 10: 1412-1420.
Duan W, Ren H, Fu S, Wang J, Zhang J, Yang L, Huang C (2010) Community comparison and determinant analysis of understory vegetation in six plantations in South China. Restor Ecol 18: 206-214.
Egley GH (1972) Influence of the seed envelope and growth regulators upon seed dormancy in witchweed (Striga lutea Lour.). Ann Bot 36: 755-770.
Fernandez C, Voiriot S, Mévy JP, Vila B, Ormeno E, Dupouyet S, Bousquet-Mélou A (2008) Regeneration failure of Pinus halepensis Mill.: the role of autotoxicity and some abiotic environmental parameters. Forest Ecol Manag 255: 2928-2936.
Gardarin A, Dürr C, Colbach N (2011) Prediction of germination rates of weed species: relationships between germination speed parameters and species traits. Ecol Model 222: 626-636.
Ghassali F, Salkini AK, Petersen SL, Niane AA, Louhaichi M (2012) Germination dynamics of Acacia species under different seed treatments. Range Manag Agrofor 33: 37-42.
Hanley ME (2009) Thermal shock and germination in North‐West European Genisteae: implications for heathland management and invasive weed control using fire. Appl Veg Sci 12: 385-390.
Kawakami K, Mizusawa L, Higuchi H (2009) Re-established mutualism in a seed-dispersal system consisting of native and introduced birds and plants on the Bonin Islands, Japan. Ecol Res 24: 741-748.
Kaydan D, Yagmur M (2008) Germination, seedling growth and relative water content of shoot in different seed sizes of triticale under osmotic stress of water and NaCl. Afr J Biotechnol 7: 2862-2868.
Kestring D, Klein J, de Menezes LCCR, Rossi MN (2009) Imbibition phases and germination response of Mimosa bimucronata (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae) to water submersion. Aquat Bot 91: 105-109.
Kgope BS, Bond WJ, Midgley GF (2010) Growth responses of African savanna trees implicate atmospheric (CO2) as a driver of past and current changes in savanna tree cover. Austral Ecol 35: 451-463.
Kheloufi A (2017) Germination of seeds from two leguminous trees (Acacia karroo and Gleditsia triacanthos) following different pre-treatments. Seed Sci Technol 45: 1-4.
Kheloufi A, Chorfi A, Mansouri LM (2016) Comparative effect of NaCl and CaCl2 on seed germination of Acacia saligna L. and Acacia decurrens Willd. International Journal of Biosciences 8: 1-13.
Kheloufi A, Chorfi A, Mansouri LM (2017) Germination kinetics in two Acacia karroo hayne ecotypes under salinity conditions. Open Access Library Journal 4: 1-11.
Kheloufi A, Mansouri LM (2017) Effect of sulphuric acid on the germination of a forage tree Acacia nilotica (L.) subsp tomentosa. Livestock Research for Rural Development 29: 1-11.
Li H, Li X, Zhang D, Liu H, Guan K (2013) Effects of drought stress on the seed germination and early seedling growth of the endemic desert plant Eremosparton songoricum (Fabaceae). EXCLI J 12: 89-101.
Liu HL, Shi X, Wang JC, Yin LK, Huang ZY, Zhang DY (2011) Effects of sand burial, soil water content and distribution pattern of seeds in sand on seed germination and seedling survival of Eremosparton songoricum (Fabaceae), a rare species inhabiting the moving sand dunes of the Gurbantunggut Desert of China. Plant Soil 345: 69-87.
Maguire JD (1962) Speed of germination-aid in selection aid in evolution for seedling emergence and vigor. Crop Sci 2: 176-177.
Melo FP, Pinto SR, Brancalion PH, Castro PS, Rodrigues RR, Aronson J et al (2013) Priority setting for scaling-up tropical forest restoration projects: Early lessons from the Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact. Environ Sci Policy 33: 395-404.
Myers N, Mittermeier RA, Mittermeier CG, Da Fonseca GA, Kent J (2000) Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403: 853-858.
Nasr SMH, Savadkoohi SK, Ahmadi E (2013) Effect of different seed treatments on dormancy breaking and germination in three species in arid and semi-arid lands. For Sci Pract 15: 130-136.
Nonogaki H, Bassel GW, Bewley JD (2010) Germination-still a mystery. Plant Sci 179: 574-581.
Orchard T (1977) Estimating the parameters of plant seedling emergence. Seed Sci Technol 5:61-69.
Phartyal SS, Godefroid S, Koedam N (2009) Seed development and germination ecophysiology of the invasive tree Prunus serotina (Rosaceae) in a temperate forest in Western Europe. Plant Ecol 204: 285-294.
Poff NL, Zimmerman JK (2010) Ecological responses to altered flow regimes: a literature review to inform the science and management of environmental flows. Freshwater Biol 55: 194-205.
Ribeiro LM, Souza PP, Rodrigues JR, Oliveira TGS, Garcia QS (2011) Overcoming dormancy in macaw palm diaspores, a tropical species with potential for use as bio-fuel. Seed Sci Technol 39:303-17.
Saied AS, Gebauer J, Buerkert A (2008) Effects of different scarification methods on germination of Ziziphus spina-christi seeds. Seed Sci Technol 36: 201-205.
Slimani H, Aidoud A, Roze F (2010) 30 Years of protection and monitoring of a steppic rangeland undergoing desertification. J Arid Environ 74:685-691.
Smýkal P, Vernoud V, Blair MW, Soukup A, Thompson RD (2014) The role of the testa during development and in establishment of dormancy of the legume seed. Front Plant Sci 5: 351.
Tadros MJ, Samarah NH, Alqudah AM (2011) Effect of different pre-sowing seed treatments on the germination of Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) and Acacia farnesiana (L.). New Forest 42: 397-407.
Tanaka-Oda A, Kenzo T, Fukuda K (2009) Optimal germination condition by sulfuric acid pretreatment to improve seed germination of Sabina vulgaris Ant. For Res 14: 251-256.
Vargas G, Werden LK, Powers JS (2015) Explaining legume success in tropical dry forests based on seed germination niches: a new hypothesis. Biotropica 47: 277-280.
Vicente-Serrano SM, Zouber A, Lasanta T, Pueyo Y (2012) Dryness is accelerating degradation of vulnerable shrub lands in semi-arid Mediterranean environments. Ecol Monogr 82: 407-428.
Wang HL, Wang L, Tian CY, Huang ZY (2012) Germination dimorphism in Suaeda acuminata: a new combination of dormancy types for heteromorphic seeds. S Afr J Bot 78: 270-275.
Yimam M, Brownell L, Hodges M, Jia Q (2012) Analgesic effects of a standardized bioflavonoid composition from Scutellaria baicalensis and Acacia catechu. J Diet Suppl 9: 155-165.
Zare S, Tavili A, Darini MJ (2011) Effects of different treatments on seed germination and breaking seed dormancy of Prosopis koelziana and Prosopis Juliflora. J Forest Res 22: 35-38.
Zhang JP, Tian XH, Yang YX, Liu QX, Wang Q, Chen LP, Li HL, Zhang WD (2016) Gleditsia species: An ethnomedical, phytochemical and pharmacological review. J Ethnopharmacol 178: 155-171.