METHODS FOR OVERCOMING SEED DORMANCY AND THE INITIAL GROWTH OF Ziziphus joazeiro Mart. IN DIFFERENT SOILS

ABSTRACT: Considering the potential and importance of biodiversity of the Caatinga biome, studies on endemic species are relevant to conservation of its natural resources. The objectives of this work was to evaluate seed viability and physical methods for overcoming seed dormancy in juazeiro (Ziziphus joazeiro Mart.) and assess the influence of different types of soil on the initial growth of juazeiro plants. The experiments were conducted in three stages. In the first stage, the viability of seeds from different lots was evaluated using the tetrazolium test. The second stage was conducted in a plant nursery, evaluating the application of physical processes (scarification with sandpaper and hammer) in overcoming seed dormancy, and the initial growth of the plants. In the third step, the chlorophyll a and b contents, gas exchange and dry matter accumulation were evaluated in young juazeiro plants in three types of soil (Oxisol, Entisol and Vertisol). The results indicate that the viability of juazeiro seeds is greatly influenced by differences between the progenitor plants and by storage conditions, which enable a longevity of two years when stored at 22°C and 16% of relative humidity. The scarification methods with sandpaper and hammer are not efficient to reduce the time and uniform seed germination. The juazeiro plants have high growth potential in different edaphic environments, adapting well to soils of different textures and chemical compositions.