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Publication Type J
Authors Walmsley, C. A. and A. J. Davy
Title Germination characteristics of shingle beach species, effects of seed ageing and their implications for vegetation restoration
Source Journal of Applied Ecology
Author Keywords coastal revegetation salinity seed dormancy stratification temperature
Abstract 1. Restoration of coastal-shingle vegetation at Sizewell, Suffolk, UK, after construction of a power station, was underpinned by an investigation into the germination ecology of six key species: Crambe maritima, Eryngium maritimum, Glaucium flavum, Honckenya peploides, Lathyrus japonicus and Rumex crispus. The use of indigenous seed, collected from the site before the 6-year construction project, necessitated long-term storage. The effects of seed ageing on viability and germination responses to temperature, light and salinity were examined to determine how any reduction in germination might be mitigated. 2. Innate seed dormancy was important in all species, except R. crispus. C. maritima and L. japonicus showed hard-seed dormancy. Stratification of E. maritimum, G. flavum and H. peploides effectively softened the pericarp or testa, and satisfied their varying requirements for low temperature to overcome physiological dormancy. 3. All species germinated well in diurnally alternating temperature regimes. Germination of H. peploides was promoted by light, but the other species were insensitive to light. Increasing salinity progressively reduced germination rate relative to that in distilled water, and sea water at concentrations of 50% or more completely inhibited germination. 4. Seed storage at low temperature and humidity for 7 years did not affect innate dormancy, except in H. peploides, where the requirement for stratification was lost. Storage reduced germination rate in all species, except R. crispus. Ageing resulted in considerably less germination at higher temperatures in some species. Salinity-enforced dormancy was significantly greater in aged seed for four of the species. The promotion of germination by light in H. peploides disappeared with age. These changes represented a narrowing of the environmental conditions that allow germination, even when viability only declined slightly. 5. Innate dormancy among shingle species and the use of stored seed, with high viability, but stringent germination requirements, are likely to result in poor and erratic germination. The use of appropriate pretreatments to overcome dormancy and optimal conditions for germination should allow the efficient use of seed for plant production in restoration projects.
Author Address UNIV E ANGLIA, SCH BIOL SCI, NORWICH NR4 7TJ, NORFOLK, ENGLAND.
ISSN 0021-8901
ISBN 0021-8901
29-Character Source Abbreviation J. Appl. Ecol.
Publication Date Feb
Year Published 1997
Volume 34
Issue 1
Beginning Page 131-142
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.2307/2404854
Unique Article Identifier WOS:A1997WX89800013
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