Seed germination ecology of the annual grass Leptochloa panicea ssp. mucronata and a comparison with L. panicoides and L. fusca

Carol C. Baskin, Jerry M. Baskin, Edward W. Chester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Leptochloa panicea ssp. mucronata is an annual grass that grows in relatively dry habitats. Requirements for dormancy loss and germination were determined for seeds of this species and compared to those of two species from wet habitats. Seeds of L. panicea were dormant at maturity in autumn, but when exposed to actual or simulated autumn temperatures (e.g. 20/10. 15/6 °C), they entered conditional dormancy and thus germinated to high percentages in light at 35/20 °C. Seeds buried in non-flooded soil exposed to natural seasonal temperature changes in Kentucky (USA) were non-dormant by the following summer and germinated to 80-100% in light at 25/15, 30/15 and 35/20 °C. Seeds buried in non-flooded soil exhibited an annual conditional dormancy/non-dormancy cycle, with seeds mostly germinating to 80-100% in light at 30/15 and 35/20 °C throughout the year but to 80-100 % in light at 25/15 °C only in summer. Results for L. panicea were compared to published data for L. panicoides and L. fusca. Whereas seeds of L. panicea buried in flooded soil failed to come out of dormancy, those of L. panicoides, an annual of moist habitats such as mudflats, exhibited an annual conditional dormancy/non-dormancy cycle, and those of L. fusca, a semi-aquatic, required flooding for both dormancy loss and germination. Differences in dormancy breaking and germination responses of seeds of Leptochloa species may help to explain why this genus occupies a wide range of habitats with regard to soil moisture conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-577
Number of pages7
JournalActa Oecologica
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1999

Keywords

  • Flooding
  • Grasses
  • Leptochloa
  • Seed dormancy
  • Seed germination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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