The germination niches of grassland species targeted for restoration

  • Restoration of semi-natural grassland communities involves a combination of (1) sward disturbance to create a temporal window for establishment, and (2) target species introduction, the latter usually by seed sowing. With great regularity, particular species establish only poorly. More reliable establishment could improve outcome of restoration projects and increase cost-effectiveness. We investigated the abiotic germination niche of ten poorly establishing calcareous grassland species by simultaneously exploring the effects of moisture and light availability and temperature fluctuation on percentage germina- tion and speed of germination. We also investigated the effects of three different pre-treatments used to enhance seed germination – cold-stratification, osmo- tic priming and priming in combination with gibberellic acid (GA 3 ) – and how these affected abiotic germination niches. Species varied markedly in width of abiotic germination niche, ranging from Carex flacca with very strict abiotic requirements, toRestoration of semi-natural grassland communities involves a combination of (1) sward disturbance to create a temporal window for establishment, and (2) target species introduction, the latter usually by seed sowing. With great regularity, particular species establish only poorly. More reliable establishment could improve outcome of restoration projects and increase cost-effectiveness. We investigated the abiotic germination niche of ten poorly establishing calcareous grassland species by simultaneously exploring the effects of moisture and light availability and temperature fluctuation on percentage germina- tion and speed of germination. We also investigated the effects of three different pre-treatments used to enhance seed germination – cold-stratification, osmo- tic priming and priming in combination with gibberellic acid (GA 3 ) – and how these affected abiotic germination niches. Species varied markedly in width of abiotic germination niche, ranging from Carex flacca with very strict abiotic requirements, to several species reliably germinating across the whole range of abiotic conditions. Our results suggest pronounced differ- ences between species in gap requirements for establishment. Germination was improved in most species by at least one pre-treatment. Evidence for positive effects of adding GA 3 to seed priming solutions was limited. In several species, pre-treated seeds germinated under a wider range of abiotic conditions than untreated seeds. Improved knowledge of species-specific germination niches and the effects of seed pre-treatments may help to improve species establishment by sowing, and to identify species for which sowing at a later stage of restoration or introduction as small plants may represent a more viable strategy.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Markus Wagner, Richard F. PywellORCiD, Tatjana Knopp, James M. Bullock, Matthew S. Heard
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-413438
DOI:https://doi.org/10.25932/publishup-41343
ISSN:1866-8372
Parent Title (English):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Mathematisch Naturwissenschaftliche Reihe
Subtitle (English):effects of seed pre-treatments
Series (Serial Number):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Reihe (675)
Document Type:Postprint
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2019/03/07
Year of Completion:2011
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2019/03/07
Tag:abiotic germination niche; calcareous grassland species; cold-stratification; osmotic seed priming; seed sowing; temperature fluctuation
Issue:675
Pagenumber:15
First Page:117
Last Page:131
Source:Seed Science Research 21 (2011) 2, pp. 117–131 DOI https://doi.org/10.1017/S0960258510000450
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 58 Pflanzen (Botanik) / 580 Pflanzen (Botanik)
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access
Grantor:Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Licence (German):License LogoKeine Nutzungslizenz vergeben - es gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht