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Effect of different temperatures, water potentials and storage on the germination of Rhipsalis floccosa Salm-Dyck ex Pfeiff. subsp. floccosa (Cactaceae).

Grant number: 23/09802-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2023
Effective date (End): October 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Botany - Pant Physiology
Principal Investigator:Rosana Marta Kolb
Grantee:Renan Marcelo de Souza Palma
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Letras (FCL-ASSIS). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Assis. Assis , SP, Brazil


With a wide distribution in the Americas, Cactaceae is a botanical family with a great abundance of species (>1800 described species), which inhabit different ecosystems, ranging from tropical forests to deserts, being classified in the fifth position referring to the most threatened taxa of living beings. In Brazil, most species are found in the southeast and northeast of the country, in the domain of the Atlantic Forest and Caatinga, biomes classified as threatened. Approximately 10% of cactus species are epiphytic, with the center of diversity in the Atlantic Forest of southeastern Brazil, with only 9% of the original forest remaining. Rhipsalis is the largest genus of epiphytic cacti, with most populations in decline, however, the amount of studies regarding the germination of species of the genus is scarce. With a catastrophic future for plant species, predictions for climate change are for higher temperatures and less water availability, affecting mainly the initial stages of plant life. Knowing that epiphytic cacti will be subject to climatic changes in their habitats and that little is known about the germination and longevity of their seeds, the present project intends to evaluate the effect of different temperatures, hydric potentials and storage methods on the germination and viability of the seeds, as well as on the survival of seedlings of the epiphytic cactus Rhipsalis floccosa subsp. floccosa. The data of this research will contribute to the understanding of the effects of climate change on the maintenance of populations of epiphytic cacti, as well as with information to better preserve the genetic material (seeds) of the species.

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