The impact of temperature regimes on development, dormancy breaking and germination of dwarf shrub seeds from arctic, alpine and boreal sites.
2008 (English)In: Plant Ecology, Vol. 198, 275-284 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
It has been suggested that the infrequent sexual reproduction of arctic dwarf shrubs might be related to the harsh environmental conditions in which they live. If this is the case, then increases in temperature resulting from global climate change might drastically affect regeneration of arctic species. We examined whether recruitment of Empetrum nigrum ssp. hermaphroditum and Vaccinium uliginosum (hereafter E. nigrum and V. uliginosum) was affected by temperature during three reproductive stages: seed development, dormancy breakage and germination. Seeds were collected from an arctic, an alpine (only E. nigrum) and a boreal site with different climates; stored at different winter temperatures and incubated for germination at different temperatures. Seeds of V. uliginosum developed in the boreal region had a higher percentage germination than did seeds developed in the Arctic. In contrast, seeds of E. nigrum from the arctic site had a higher or similar percentage germination than did seeds from the alpine and boreal sites. Increased winter temperatures had no significant effect on resulting germination percentage of E. nigrum. However, V. uliginosum seeds from the arctic site suffered increased fungal attack (and thus decreased germination) when they were stratified under high winter temperatures. Seeds of both species increased germination with increased incubation temperatures. Our results suggest that both species would increase their germination in response to warmer summers. Longer summers might also favour the slow-germinating E. nigrum. However, increased winter temperatures might increase mortality due to fungal attack in V. uliginosum ecotypes that are not adapted to mild winters.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 198, 275-284 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-11486DOI: doi:10.1007/s11258-008-9403-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-11486DiVA: diva2:151157