Temperatures during storage, light and wetting affecting caryopses germinability of Schismus arabicus, a common desert annual grass

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Abstract

The common desert annual grass Schismus arabicus produces many tiny caryopses which germinate only after dry storage at high summer temperatures. Two years after maturation, 24% germinated within 22h in the dark at 20°C. At 20°C or lower in light, there was less germination than in dark, although not at 25°C and 30°C. The lower the temperature, within the range 5-15°C, the longer the delay in the start of germination and the lower the levels of germination in light and dark. In alternating summer temperatures of 18 h at 20°C and 6 h at 40°C, the percentage of germination was higher (53%) than in winter temperatures of 18 h at 15°C and 6 h at 5°C (40%). The ecological importance of germination regulated by post-maturation dry storage duration and temperatures, and temperatures during wetting, under light or dark, is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-85
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1996

Keywords

  • alternating or constant temperatures
  • dry storage temperatures
  • ecological importance
  • germination
  • partial germination
  • survival strategies

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