SylvanSeeds, a seed germination database for temperate deciduous forests

Prepared by Eduardo Fernández-Pascual

Temperate deciduous forest in the Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, USA. Photo credit: Eduardo Fernández-Pascual.

Seeds in nature are able to detect the environment and the season they are in and use this information to time their germination. They do this by responding to signals such as temperature, light or overwintering. SylvanSeeds is an open-access, free-to-use seed germination database for temperate deciduous forests of the northern hemisphere. The records in the SylvanSeeds database show how forest seeds germinate under experimental conditions of temperature, light and dormancy-alleviating treatments. SylvanSeeds contains records on more than 300 forest plant species, obtained from over 500 published references from 46 countries. This information can be used by researchers interested in forest regeneration ecology, but also by anyone wanting to know how to germinate seeds of a specific species. A web app is provided at, where the information can be accessed in a user-friendly way.

This is a plain language summary for the paper of Eduardo Fernández-Pascual published in the Journal of Vegetation Science (