Effects of the habitat-soil factor on transgenerational plasticity in a diaspore-polymorphic cold desert annual

Juanjuan Lu, Lu Gan, Dunyan Tan, Carol C. Baskin, Jerry M. Baskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Aims: We determined effects of soil from three habitats differing in physiochemical properties on transgenerational plasticity in diaspore production of the diaspore-polymorphic annual Ceratocarpus arenarius. Methods: Production of three disapore morphs and size of F0 plants in a sand desert (S) were evaluated. F1 plants from morphs at soil surface (a) and middle (c) and upper (f) parts of canopy of F0 plants were grown in soil from S, salt desert (SD) and desert steppe (DS) and evaluated for diaspore production and plant size. Results: Number of dispersal unit morphs for F0 plants in S was (f > c)> > a. Plants from all three morphs varied in size, mass and mass allocation. For F1 plants (compared to F0), a:(c + f) was the same or increased in S (poor soil) and decreased in DS (good soil); c:(a + f) increased in S and DS; and f:(a + c) decreased in S and DS. In SD, ratios for F1 plants from a and c were the same as those in S, but ratios for F1 plants from f were the same as those in S and DS. Conclusions: Differences in soil physiochemistry caused flexibility in plant size, mass and mass allocation and proportion of diaspore morphs across generations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-367
Number of pages13
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG part of Springer Nature.


  • Amphi-basicarpic annual
  • Ceratocarpus
  • Diaspore polymorphism
  • Phenotypic plasticity
  • Rainfall-unpredictable desert environment
  • Soil physicochemical properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science


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