Seeds: the ecology of regeneration in plant communities

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In others, seeds may survive for long periods in the soil seed bank with intermittent germination of a part of the population. There are two basic physiological prerequisites for seeds to survive in soil: viability must be maintained for as long as germination is avoided by dormancy or quiescence. Moreover, for such seeds to contribute to regeneration, dormancy must be relieved and germination promoted perhaps within a limited period when there is a good chance of successful seedling establishment.

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In explaining how different regeneration strategies can result from varying physiology, the approach adopted in this chapter in considering dormancy is to examine how this adaptive trait influences the responses of seed populations to environmental factors, so ensuring that at least some individuals germinate in the right place and at the right time. The endogenous chemical regulation of seed persistence in the soil seed bank is often assumed to occur by many seed and plant ecologists, but the subject receives only sparse direct coverage in the scientific literature.

Priestly reviewed the experimental evidence to that date for seed persistence in the soil, but gives little mention to potential chemical regulators of that persistence. Baskin and Baskin provide a very comprehensive review of seed dormancy and germination, but their discussion of chemical regulators of seed dormancy is largely limited to plant hormones as germination inhibitors.

Shirley reviewed the role of flavonoids in seeds, outlining their potential role in preventing pathogen infection, reducing lipid peroxidation i. Based on the insight from Shirley , Gallagher and. Pounds et al. Compared to the well-studied literature of how climate change affects performance of adult plants, relatively few studies have focused on the responses of seeds and seedlings, the shifts in their abundance and distributions, and changes in population dynamics and regenerations that are connected by these early life stages.

As iterated in other chapters of this book, seeds play a critical role in plant regeneration. Furthermore, early life stages are expected to be more sensitive to climate change than adult stages Lloret et al. Walck et al. In this chapter, we review both lab and field investigations on seed and seedling responses to climate change.

Cornfield Annual wildflowers managing regeneration from self sown seed

There is a rich literature on how environmental factors regulate seed biology. In many countries with temperate climate, landscapes are highly anthropized, and arable crops constitute the major part of these landscapes. Cropped fields differ from natural habitats by frequent disturbances e.

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In this chapter, I propose to focus on the importance of the soil seed bank for plant regeneration in this particular habitat, to identify the relevant biophysical processes interacting with agricultural practices, and, finally, to determine what kind of weed species and traits are selected in different cropping systems. When I was a child, playing in the meadows and woods, I A. Beggarticks Bidens tripartita quickly covered the former pond; the river bank turned blue with forget-me-nots Myosotis pratensis ; and molehills were crowned with stitchwort Stellaria media.

It was a difficult experience when my parents had me weed out our overgrown vegetable garden where lambsquarters Chenopodium album from the seed bank grew faster than the radishes we had sown. I learned, however, to distinguish the few Calendula seedlings and to keep some flowers for my mother. Ratings: 0.

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Sign in Don't have an account? Sign Up. Forgot your password? Gorse germination was strongly promoted by heat but bone-seed germination was less affected by heat. Bone-seed seedling abundance increased dramatically following canopy removal, whereas native seedling abundance decreased dramatically. This suggests that disturbance of any form is likely to favour recruitment of bone-seed and gorse over native species, although in the long term, native seedlings can establish beneath the canopy of mature bone-seed plants.

It is not yet known if, in the absence of further disturbance, regenerating native vegetation will eventually replace bone-seed in New Zealand. New Zealand Ecological Society, Inc.

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