Germination of native grasses with potential application in the recovery of degraded areas in Quadrilátero Ferrífero, Brazil.
Native grasses are potential species to be used in land rehabilitation. However, due to the lack of better knowledge of their performance, preference is given to exotic plants, which may be invasive and negatively affect the local biodiversity. In order to better understand the propagation of native species of the Quadrilátero Ferrífero (Minas Gerais, Brazil) using their seeds, and in so doing, indicate possible candidates for land rehabilitation, this study investigated the germination patterns of the following grasses: Andropogon bicornis L.; Andropogon leucostachyus Kunth; Setaria parviflora (Poir.) Kerguélen; Cenchrus brownii Roem. & Schult; Echinolaena inflexa (Poir.) Chase, and Apochloa euprepes (Renvoize) Zuloaga & Morrone. The spikelets (depending on the species, removing or not the structures that surround the caryopsis) were treated as follows: T1-Control, T2-moistening with 0.2% potassium nitrate, T3-heating at 80°C for 2 minutes, T4-scarification with sulfuric acid (except genus Andropogon) and, for genera Andropogon and Setaria T5-storage at room temperature and T6- refrigerated storage. The treatment was repeated four times for 25 caryopses incubated at 25°C and constant light. Significant variation was observed when comparing germination rates from week to week, treatment to treatment and species to species. The most efficient treatment for genus Andropogon was T6, followed by T2 for A. bicornis and T3 for A. leucostachyus. T6 was also the most effective treatment for S. parviflora, followed by T5 and T2. C. brownii showed similar results when applying T1, T2 and T3 (mean 39%). E. inflexa and A. euprepes showed high levels of dormancy that were not overcome by the proposed treatments. A. bicornis, A. leucostachyus, S. parviflora and C. brownii showed higher germination potential, thus being possible candidates for the recovery of degraded areas. Future studies are indicated to find the most effective treatments for germination in field conditions.