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The beginning of growth of a seed, spore, or other structure (e.g. pollen), usually following a period of dormancy, and generally in response to the return of favourable external conditions, most notably warmth, moisture, and oxygen. The internal biochemical status of the seed or spore must also be appropriate. In seeds, germination may be epigeal, with cotyledons emerging above the ground, or hypogeal, with the cotyledons staying below ground.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry — Ecology and Conservation.

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