Seed handling techniques for some neotropical forest species in Colombia.
Details are given of studies made on a total of 18 species to determine external signs of fruit ripeness, and suitable postharvest handling techniques for fruits and seeds. Aspects covered include pre-drying, packing for transport, seed behaviour during drying, and proper seed moisture content (m.c.). The species studied were Bombacopsis quinata, Calophyllum mariae, Cariniana pyriformis, Cedrelinga catenaeformis, Centrolobium paraense, Cordia alliodora, C. gerascanthus, Dialyanthera otoba, Didymopanax morototonii [D. morototoni], Hieronyma [Hyeronima] chocoensis, Jacaranda copaia, Sterculia apetala, Tabebuia rosea, Virola spp. (tentatively identified as V. carinata, V. reidii and V. sebifera) and Zanthoxylon [Zanthoxylum] tachuelo. Storage trials were made on 15 species, and firm recommendations are made on storage conditions for: Bombacopsis quinata (7.2% m.c., 14°C, aluminium container, with Vitavax 300 [carboxin]); Cariniana pyriformis (8.7% m.c., 2-20°C, aluminium container); Cedrelinga catenaeformis (11.7% m.c., 5°C, plastic container); Cordia alliodora (6.7% m.c., 2-5°C, plastic or aluminium container); C. gerascanthus (7.9% m.c., 2-20°C, aluminium container); and Tabebuia rosea (7.1% m.c., 20°C, aluminium or polythene container, with Vitavax 300). Studies were also made on the chemical composition of seeds of 13 species, the anatomy of seeds of 6 species, and pest/disease organisms associated with the seeds.