Seed dormancy and germination characteristics may vary within species in response to several factors. Knowledge of such variation is crucial to understand plant evolution and adaptation to environmental changes. We examined the correlation of climate and population genetic differentiation (ISSR) with primary seed dormancy and germination behaviour in populations of the Atlantic-European soft-water pool specialist Hypericum elodes. Primary dormancy was measured by analysing seed germination response of fresh seeds and after various periods of cold stratification. Laboratory germination experiments revealed that the single most important factor for promoting germination was cold stratification prior to placing at the germination temperature. However, in agreement with their weaker primary dormancy, the seeds germinated well when fresh, and the benefit of cold stratification was more relaxed for the southern populations. Seeds of all populations demonstrated a near absolute requirement for a light and alternating temperature regime in order to germinate. The promoting effect of alternating temperatures was particularly effective at warm temperatures (mean 20 °C) but not at cool temperatures. Whilst seed germination requirements were similar among populations, the degree of primary dormancy varied considerably and was not associated with population genetic differentiation. Primary dormancy degree was instead associated with local climate: higher temperature in summer and rainfall in winter predicted weak and rapid loss of dormancy. These results suggest that seed maturation environment may play a substantial role in explaining the degree of dormancy in H. elodes, highlighting that physiological dormancy can be modulated by local climate

Local climate explains degree of seed dormancy in Hypericum elodes L. (Hypericaceae)

CARTA, ANGELINO;PERUZZI, LORENZO;BEDINI, GIANNI
2016

Abstract

Seed dormancy and germination characteristics may vary within species in response to several factors. Knowledge of such variation is crucial to understand plant evolution and adaptation to environmental changes. We examined the correlation of climate and population genetic differentiation (ISSR) with primary seed dormancy and germination behaviour in populations of the Atlantic-European soft-water pool specialist Hypericum elodes. Primary dormancy was measured by analysing seed germination response of fresh seeds and after various periods of cold stratification. Laboratory germination experiments revealed that the single most important factor for promoting germination was cold stratification prior to placing at the germination temperature. However, in agreement with their weaker primary dormancy, the seeds germinated well when fresh, and the benefit of cold stratification was more relaxed for the southern populations. Seeds of all populations demonstrated a near absolute requirement for a light and alternating temperature regime in order to germinate. The promoting effect of alternating temperatures was particularly effective at warm temperatures (mean 20 °C) but not at cool temperatures. Whilst seed germination requirements were similar among populations, the degree of primary dormancy varied considerably and was not associated with population genetic differentiation. Primary dormancy degree was instead associated with local climate: higher temperature in summer and rainfall in winter predicted weak and rapid loss of dormancy. These results suggest that seed maturation environment may play a substantial role in explaining the degree of dormancy in H. elodes, highlighting that physiological dormancy can be modulated by local climate
Carta, Angelino; Probert, R.; Puglia, G.; Peruzzi, Lorenzo; Bedini, Gianni
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/709663
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