Danida Forest Seed Centre (DFSC) publications

DFSC has published a wide range of papers and leaflets which are very valuable resource - many are must-reads for any tree seed project. The series presents new or adapted techniques and methodologies, and descriptions of equipment. They also include popular editions of the results of DFSC's own research and development work, as well as results from other institutions. Some of the notes have previously been published elsewhere. They are grouped under the following headings:

  • case studies: application of guidelines and technical notes in specific area;
  • results and documentation: publication of analyses of e.g. provenance trials, carried out between DFSC and other institutions;
  • guidelines and technical notes: a continuation of DFSC's technical notes series giving guidelines for a range of subjects useful to all our readers. Topics include: seed collection and processing; seed testing, storage and pretreatment; seed health and international transfer of seed; nursery techniques; tree improvement and gene conservation; and management;
  • lecture notes: these are primarily compilations intended for training courses, presenting more comprehensive information on aspects of seed procurement, tree improvement and gene-resource conservation. Each note may be read independently. Topics include: general introduction; seed sources; tree improvement and gene conservation;
  • species leaflets: aimed at seed technicians, extension workers and farmers, these two-page leaflets contain information on practical seed handling for some 65 tree species. All leaflets are available in English, some also in Spanish.

Guide to handling tropical and subtropical forest seed

Schmidt, L. 2000
Danida Forest Seed Centre. 511 pp.
ISBN 87-982428-6-5

An essential must-read guide for anyone working on tropical and subtropical seed. The chapters cover: seed biology, development and ecology; planning and preparation for seed collections; seed collection; fruit and seed handling between collection and processing; seed processing; phytosanitary problems and seed treatment; seed storage; dormancy and pretreatment; germination and seedling establishment; seed testing; genetic implications of seed handling; microsymbiont management; seed documentation; and trade and transfer of forest seed. The publication largely supersedes the DFSC/FAO publication A guide to forest seed handling.

Obtainable from DFSC - for address, see

Tropical forestry handbook

Volumes 1 and 2
Pancel, L., ed. 1993.
Springer Verlag, New York, Berlin, Heidelberg.
ISBN 0-387-56420-9

A comprehensive coverage of tropical forestry. Vol. 1 chapters are: Geology and soils; climatology; ecology; remote sensing; forest inventory; genetics and its application to tropical forestry; forest seed handling; nursery management; mineral nutrition of tropical trees; species selection; forestation; and silviculture of tropical natural forests. Vol. 2 chapters are: land evaluation and forestry management; watershed management; range management; agroforestry; wildlife conservation and management; pest management; fire management; forest roads; harvesting; non-timber forest products; trade and marketing; ergonomics/labour; extension; economics; project/enterprise management; and policy.

Forest tree seeds at the end of the 20th century: major accomplishments and needs

A state of the knowledge report on forest tree seeds Edwards, D.G.W. Compiler. 1999.
IUFRO Unit 2.09.00 Seed physiology and technology.

This is a concise and informative overview, concentrating on seed production, seed storage and longevity, and seed quality testing and nursery performance. A must-read. Is available at the following website:

Recent advances in tropical tree seed technology and planting stock production

Proceedings: International Symposium,
12 - 14 June, 1995, Haad Yai, Thailand.
Tapa, A.C. (Ed.) 1996.
ASEAN Forest Seed Centre, Muak-Lek, Thailand.
ISBN 0-662-24100-2

There are some 40 papers grouped under the following headings: high quality seed for high quality planting stock; seed quality: collection, handling and processing; seed quality; storage, testing and certification; production of high quality seedlings: physiology, morphology, and standardization; alternative planting stock techniques; beneficial stock production techniques.

General papers stress the need for top quality seed to endure high quality planting stock and the need to carefully plan and implement seed collection, handling and storage activities. Specific papers deal with various techniques to improve the storage and viability of some tropical species.

Genetic conservation and production of tropical forest tree seed

Proceedings: International Symposium,
14 - 16 June, 1993, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Drysdale, R.M.; John, S.E.T. & Yapa, A.C. 1994.
ASEAN-Canada Forest Tree Seed Centre, Muak-Lek, Saraburi, Thailand.
ISBN 974-8007-06-5

Papers on the genetic conservation theme highlight many controversial issues concerning: development vs conservation; conservation and forest management; and strategies for in-situ and ex-situ conservation. Papers on seed production are of a practical "how-to" type, with several case studies.

Tree seed problems, with special reference to Africa

Proceedings of the IUFRO Symposium of the Project Group P.2.04.00 'Seed Problems'.
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 23028 November 1992.
Some, L.M. & de Kam, H. 1993.
Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, the Netherlands.
ISBN 90-73346-26-9

Papers are grouped in the following themes: general, regional and country reports; genetic quality of seed; seed pretreatment and germination studies; seed collection, handling and storage; diseases and insects; control of seed quality; direct sowing.

The importance of managing forest genetic resources and reproductive material for sustainable forest management

Proceedings of the Seminar on Forests and Trees
in Environment and Development Co-operation.
Odebo, Denmark, 27 April. 1998.
DANIDA Forest Seed Centre

Paper topics include: biological diversity; management of forests for diversity and flexibility; productive functions of forests; socio-economic functions of forests; international agreements.

USDA-FS woody plant seed manual

Publication of the handbook on seeds of trees and shrubs, produced by the USDA Forest Service, the Woody plant seed manual (USDA misc. publ. 654) included 420 taxa in 140 genera. An updated and expanded manual, Seeds of woody plants in the United States (USDA Agric. handbk. 450) was published in 1974, containing data for approximately 800 taxa in 188 genera. Advances in tree seed technology in the last quarter-century have dictated the publication of a new revision, also named the Woody plant seed manual. The revision process by a team of Forest Service scientists and cooperators from universities and other government agencies is now underway. The book will contain almost 1,300 taxa in 230 genera. When complete, the manual will be formatted and made available as a traditional printed book and electronically on a CD-ROM and the final website in Adobe PDF format.

As parts of the manual become available, they will be made available on the following Web site:

An introduction to seed technology

Thomson, J.R. 1979
Leonard Hill (252 p)
ISBN 0-249-44155-1

A good, simple introduction from an agricultural perspective.

Australian Tree Seed Centre: Operations Manual

Brian Gunn (2000) (description from the website) This manual documents the CSIRO Australian Tree Seed Centre's standardised procedures in seed handling, from planning seed collections through to seed dispatch. It provides information on the handling of tree seed with a focus on research collections of Australian species. The procedures reflect the importance of genetic and physiological quality of seed which have a major bearing on the success or failure of establishment of small-scale plantings or commercial plantations. This complete manual can be downloaded in pdf format (1.8 MB) from:
last updated:  Thursday, July 12, 2007