Salinity effects on germination and seedlings biomass of Pachycereus pecten-aboriginum: an endangered species
Keywords:biomass, cacti, germination, salinity, species threatened.
Cacti are particularly sensitive to habitat disturbance since they have slow growth and a long
life cycle. Their development and establishment depend on several factors, including
environmental requirements for germination and establishment of seedlings. Two of the most
influential factors are soil and water salinity. The objective of this study was to quantify seeds
germination and seedling biomass production of the Aborigine’s comb cactus (Pachycerus
pecten-aboriginum) in salt stress using sodium chloride (NaCl) as the main salt source. The
experiment was arranged in a completely randomized design using six salt levels (0.11, 2.03,
4.00, 6.03, 8.03 and 10.07 dS m-1) with five replicates of 20 seeds each one. The seeds were
collected in a wild population of P. pecten-aboriginum in Ejido Álvaro Obregón, Baja
California Sur, Mexico in June 2011. The results showed that germination and seedling
biomass were significantly affected by salt stress, which was higher at 2.03 and 0.11 dS m-1,
followed by 6.03 and 4.00 dS m-1, lower at 8.03 dS m-1, and no growth at 10.07 dS m-1. It is
concluded that saline levels using sodium chloride as the main source of salt, affect seed
germination and seedling biomass production of P. pecten-aboriginum significantly.