Annual dormancy cycles in Lesquerella fendleri (Brassicaceae) seeds stored under both field and laboratory conditions

Laura A. Hyatt, Ann S. Evans, Carol C. Baskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Patterns of germination over time were investigated in a short-lived desert perennial species, Lesquerella fendleri (Gray) S. Wats. Field-collected seeds were either buried in the field in cloth bags or stored in a glass jar under laboratory conditions. Regular germination tests were conducted under a range of alternating temperatures (buried seeds) or under differing water regimes (laboratory-stored seeds). Testing revealed Lesquerella fendleri to have an annual dormancy-nondormancy cycle, which was manifest regardless of seed storage conditions, suggesting that cycles may be partially endogenously regulated. Increasing seed germinability in field-stored seeds (maximum of 30% in year 1 and 95% in year 2) leads to the formation of a seed bank for at least 1 year and enhances the possibility of spreading germination events through time. This allows parent plants to maximize fitness in randomly fluctuating environments. The existence of two seedling flushes in the field and single germinability peaks in growth chambers suggests that dormancy cycling may support the formation of a metapopulation with subpopulations which are, although physically intermingled, genetically distinct.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1648-1654
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian Journal of Botany
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1999


  • Lesquerella fendleri
  • Seed dormancy
  • Seed germination
  • Survival analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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