Comparison of the cut and tetrazolium tests for assessing seed viability: A study using Australian native Leucopogon species
A viable seed is defined as a seed that has the potential to germinate (Bradbeer 1988). Dormancy mechanisms prevent the germination of viable seeds until suitable conditions arise. However dormancy-breaking treatments are unknown for many species. Determining whether poor germination is explained by unknown dormancy mechanisms or by low levels of viability is an essential part of understanding how species persist in the landscape (Baskin & Baskin 1998). Viability testing can determine the level of viability of seed lots and is the primary step when assessing the effectiveness of dormancy-breaking treatments. It is also important for practitioners such as restoration ecologists who need to know the germination potential of a seed lot.