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About the Autogerm Program

Seed germination timing can have a strong influence on the fitness and survival of a plant. Subsequently, seed germination timing is a closely tracked demographic stage in a variety of direct seeding applications in wildland and agricultural settings. Manual techniques for tracking seed germination timing are often difficult to implement and time-consuming.

Predictive seed germination models, based on soil moisture and temperature data in the seed zone, are an efficient method of estimating germination timing. However, estimates of field germination timing can be difficult due to the amount of data processing required.

To overcome this difficulty, we utilized Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to create the Auto-Germ Excel workbook that allows a user to estimate field germination timing based on wet-thermal accumulation models and field data. Auto-Germ uses germination count data obtained from laboratory trials performed over a range of constant temperatures to calculate thermal-time germination models and a suite of other germination indices. Auto-Germ also provides the user with an interface to apply the thermal-time germination models to estimate germination timing from simulated planting dates.

Auto-Germ allows efficient processing of large amounts of data, is applicable to most germination data sets from non-dormant seed, and simplifies the modeling process for researchers with limited programming experience. You can download Auto-Germ by clicking on the link at the bottom of this webpage. Detailed instructions on how to operate Auto-Germ can be obtained through our publication in Ecology and Evolution. You can view the publication here: