Germination of leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula L.) seeds under alternating temperatures: the effects of amplitude, midpoint, and imbibition in gibberellic acid.
Germinability of dormant seeds or the capacity to germinate under particular conditions is sometimes enhanced by a diurnal alternating temperature regime relative to a constant temperature. Alternating temperature regimes vary in amplitude (difference between the minimum and maximum) and midpoint (average). The aim of this research was to test the effects of amplitude and midpoint regimes on germination of dormant leafy spurge seed from a Fargo, ND population in water and gibberellic acid (GA3). The optimal regimes for germination in both water and GA3 were 20:30°C (16 h:8 h) and 20:35°C (19 h:5 h), which provided amplitudes of 10°C and 15°C, respectively, with both conditions having a midpoint temperature of 23.3°C. However, midpoint temperature of 22°C to 27°C were equally effective for germination under the 20:30°C and 20:35°C alternating temperature regimes. Additional alternating temperature regimes with amplitudes of 15°C (15:30°C and 10:25°C), 20°C (10:30°C), and 25°C (10:35°C) generally displayed reduced germination in both water and GA3, which is likely attributable to the low initial alternating temperature (≤15°C) component of the regime relative to the higher initial temperature of 20°C for the optimum regimes of 20:30°C and 20:35°C. Under the alternating temperature regimes tested, seeds germinated in GA3 generally displayed higher germination (≥80%) compared with seeds in water (30%-50%).