Journal Article

Pre- and Post-harvest Influences on Seed Dormancy Status of an Australian Goodeniaceae species, <i>Goodenia fascicularis</i>

Gemma L. Hoyle, Kathryn J. Steadman, Matthew I. Daws and Steve W. Adkins

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 102, issue 1, pages 93-101
Published in print July 2008 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online April 2008 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcn062
Pre- and Post-harvest Influences on Seed Dormancy Status of an Australian Goodeniaceae species, Goodenia fascicularis

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Background and Aims

The period during which seeds develop on the parent plant has been found to affect many seed characteristics, including dormancy, through interactions with the environment. Goodenia fascicularis (Goodeniaceae) seeds were used to investigate whether seeds of an Australian native forb, harvested from different environments and produced at different stages of the reproductive period, differ in dormancy status.

Methods

During the reproductive phase, plants were grown ex situ in warm (39/21 °C) or cool (26/13 °C) conditions, with adequate or limited water availability. The physiological dormancy of resulting seeds was measured in terms of the germination response to warm stratification (34/20 °C, 100 % RH, darkness).

Key Results

Plants in the cool environment were tall and had high above-ground biomass, yet yielded fewer seeds over a shorter, later harvest period when compared with plants in the warm environment. Seeds from the cool environment also had higher viability and greater mass, despite a significant proportion (7 % from the cool-wet environment) containing no obvious embryo. In the warm environment, the reproductive phase was accelerated and plants produced more seeds despite being shorter and having lower above-ground biomass than those in the cool environment. Ten weeks of warm stratification alleviated physiological dormancy in seeds from all treatments resulting in 80–100 % germination. Seeds that developed at warm temperatures were less dormant (i.e. germination percentages were higher) than seeds from the cool environment. Water availability had less effect on plant and seed traits than air temperature, although plants with reduced soil moisture were shorter, had lower biomass and produced fewer, less dormant seeds than plants watered regularly.

Conclusions Goodenia fascicularis

seeds are likely to exhibit physiological dormancy regardless of the maternal environment. However, seeds collected from warm, dry environments are likely to be more responsive to warm stratification than seeds from cooler, wetter environments.

Keywords: Goodenia fascicularis; Goodeniaceae; Australia; physiological dormancy; seeds; temperature; soil moisture; maternal influence; climate

Journal Article.  5488 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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