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Authors Skarpaas, O; Stabbetorp, E
Author Full Name Skarpaas, O; Stabbetorp, E
Title Diaspore ecology of Mertensia maritima: effects of physical treatments and their relative timing on dispersal and germination
Source OIKOS
Language English
Document Type Article
Keywords Plus SEED; VIABILITY; PLANT
Abstract This paper reports an experimental study of water dispersal potential and germination of the shingle beach plant Mertensia maritima in which we consider the effects of physical factors (cold treatment, mechanical wear of the pericarp and salt-water exposure) on the diaspores. Our approach also includes testing effects of different orders of the treatments. in contrast to most earlier studies of diaspore ecology. A cold period was necessary to break seed dormancy, and prolonged cold treatment (stratification at 2degreesC) enhanced germination. Mechanical wear of the pericarp before cold treatment did not affect germination, whereas mechanical wear after cold treatment increased germination significantly. Seeds exposed to 6 weeks of cold treatment before floating in salt water for 6 weeks did not germinate. In contrast, for seeds given the same cold treatment after floating, the germination was more than 50%. Most undamaged and slightly damaged nutlets stayed afloat throughout the dispersal experiment (9 weeks) in 3% salt water, whereas seeds that fell out of damaged nutlets sunk immediately. Thus, the results suggest that the potential for long-distance dispersal is high unless the diaspores (nutlets) are severely damaged, but the order of cold treatment and water dispersal seems to be of great importance for germination: seeds dispersed in autumn (before cold periods) have a much higher probability of germinating than seeds dispersed in winter or early spring (after a cold period). Similar effects of the relative timing of physical processes have hitherto only been reported for two other water-dispersed beach plants. Future studies in diaspore ecology should consider such timing effects as they may be important determinants of the distribution and abundance of plants.
Author Address NINA, Div Landscape Ecol, N-0105 Oslo, Norway; Univ Oslo, Dept Biol, N-0316 Oslo, Norway
Reprint Address Skarpaas, O (reprint author), NINA, Div Landscape Ecol, Dronningens Gt 13,POB 736, N-0105 Oslo, Norway.
Times Cited 11
Total Times Cited Count (WoS, BCI, and CSCD) 11
Publisher BLACKWELL MUNKSGAARD
Publisher City COPENHAGEN
Publisher Address 35 NORRE SOGADE, PO BOX 2148, DK-1016 COPENHAGEN, DENMARK
ISSN 0030-1299
29-Character Source Abbreviation OIKOS
ISO Source Abbreviation Oikos
Publication Date DEC
Year Published 2001
Volume 95
Issue 3
Beginning Page 374
Ending Page 382
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.1034/j.1600-0706.2001.950302.x
Page Count 9
Web of Science Category Ecology
Subject Category Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Document Delivery Number 519MA
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000173729000002
Plants associated with this reference

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