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CABI Book Chapter

Seeds: the ecology of regeneration in plant communities.

Book cover for Seeds: the ecology of regeneration in plant communities.

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Chapter 12 (Page no: 293)

Effect of chemical environment on seed germination.

Seeds receive information about the succession of seasons through fluctuations in temperature. In arid and semi-arid zones, the timing of precipitation adds important information. Seeds receive information about their depth in the soil and neighbouring vegetation through the dependency of the germination process on light and fluctuating diurnal temperatures. Therefore, germination of many seed species often only occurs at or close to the surface of the soil and in vegetation gaps. The chemical environment provides seeds with information about the quality of their environment with respect to suitability for growth. In general, chemical factors that promote germination are also beneficial for emergence and seedling growth. The dependence of many species on nitrate for germination is a clear example of this rule. The presence of high soil nitrate levels may even stimulate the germination of the next generation of seeds, via the accumulation of nitrate during seed formation. The dependence of parasitic seeds on chemical promoters excreted by the host plant illustrates the parallelism between the stimulation of germination and seedling growth. Seedlings of the parasite also depend fully on host factors. Similarly, allelopathic substances in the soil, which inhibit germination, are generally deleterious to seedling growth.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 1) Reproductive allocation in plants. Author(s): Bazzaz, F. A. Ackerly, D. D. Reekie, E. G.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 31) The evolutionary ecology of seed size. Author(s): Leishman, M. R. Wright, I. J. Moles, A. T. Westoby, M.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 59) Maternal effects on seeds during development. Author(s): Gutterman, Y.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 85) The ecology of seed dispersal. Author(s): Willson, M. F. Traveset, A.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 111) Animals as seed dispersers. Author(s): Stiles, E. W.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 125) Fruits and frugivory. Author(s): Jordano, P.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 167) Seed predators and plant population dynamics. Author(s): Crawley, M. J.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 183) Dormancy, viability and longevity. Author(s): Murdoch, A. J. Ellis, R. H.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 215) The functional ecology of soil seed banks. Author(s): Thompson, K.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 237) Seed responses to light. Author(s): Pons, T. L.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 261) The role of temperature in the regulation of seed dormancy and germination. Author(s): Probert, R. J.
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 311) Role of fire in regeneration from seed. Author(s): Keeley, J. E. Fotheringham, C. J.
Chapter: 14 (Page no: 311) Role of fire in regeneration from seed. Author(s): Keeley, J. E. Fotheringham, C. J.
Chapter: 15 (Page no: 331) Ecology of seedling regeneration. Author(s): Kitajima, K. Fenner, M.
Chapter: 16 (Page no: 361) The contribution of seedling regeneration to the structure and dynamics of plant communities, ecosystems and larger units of the landscape. Author(s): Grime, J. P. Hillier, S. H.
Chapter: 17 (Page no: 375) Gaps and seedling colonization. Author(s): Bullock, J. M.

Chapter details

  • Author Affiliation
  • Laboratory of Plant Physiology, Wageningen Agricultural University, Arboretumlaan 4, Wageningen, Netherlands.
  • Year of Publication
  • 2000
  • ISBN
  • 0851994326
  • Record Number
  • 20083076658