Joy Ekpo

Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

Paul Bartholomew

Second Advisor

Robert D. Williams


Size is an important characteristic of seed quality because larger seeds with larger volume contain more resources and are likely to exhibit greater vigor than smaller seeds (Ellis, 1992). In a range of plant species, seed size has been shown to affect germination rate, emergence rate, success of establishment, and growth (Black 1957; Bentley et al. 1980; Sanderson et al. 2002). Hairy vetch is an annual legume that is used for improvement of soil for pasture and to provide ground cover protecting against erosion (Duke 1981; Undersander 2002; Sattell et al 1988). Problems facing the establishment of hairy vetch are that it has a relatively short growing season and this means that speed and reliability of germination and establishment are likely to have an important influence on crop productivity (Munda 2004). Commercial supplies of hairy vetch seed are highly variable in size, but little research appears to have been undertaken to evaluate the impact of this size variability on the success of establishment of hairy vetch. The purpose of this study was to test the effects of seed size on germination, imbibition, and dark seedling growth rate in hairy