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Super-tough seed coat keeps Michaux's sumac on critically endangered list
Date:10/11/2011

toccurred after sulfuric acid was poured on Michaux's sumac seeds and allowed to scarify (dissolve and weaken) the seed coats. This finding, from an experiment done in 1996, has led the researchers to their next experiment using birds.

"We are going to feed the seeds to quail and wild turkey to determine if that breaks the seed dormancy," says Bolin, a research associate with the Department of Botany at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and an assistant professor at Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C.

Seed passage through the digestive tracts of fruit-eating birds (and exposure to the acid in the bird's stomachs) may break the physical dormancy of these seeds and help disperse them as well, the scientists write.


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Contact: John Gibbons
gibbonsjp@si.edu
202-633-5187
Smithsonian
Source:Eurekalert  

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Super-tough seed coat keeps Michaux's sumac on critically endangered list
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