Habitat-specific response of seed germination and seedling establishment to soil water conditions in two Rheum species in the high Sino-Himalayas

Song, B. and Stöcklin, Jürg and Gao, Y.-Q. and Zhang, Z.-Q. and Yang, Y. and Li, Z.-M. and Sun, H.. (2013) Habitat-specific response of seed germination and seedling establishment to soil water conditions in two Rheum species in the high Sino-Himalayas. Ecological Research, 28 (4). pp. 643-651.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6174357

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Knowledge of how germination and seedling establishment respond to soil water condition is crucial for plant conservation under global warming and land-use changes. We tested the flooding and drought tolerance of two plant species with different occurrences along a soil water gradient by assessing seed germination, seedling survival, seedling growth, and root characteristics. In the high Sino-Himalayas, Rheum alexandrae typically occurs in wetlands, R. nobile in scree or open slope with well-drained soils. Seeds and seedlings of the two species were subjected to different soil water conditions in controlled greenhouse experiments. Seed germination in both species was inhibited by high soil water content; however, seeds of R. alexandrae were more tolerant to flooding, especially to submergence. Seedling survival, biomass accumulation, root diameter, and root porosity of R. alexandrae increased significantly with increased soil water content, but submergence was lethal for seedlings. Seedling survival, biomass accumulation, and root length of R. nobile increased significantly in response to reduced soil water content. These results indicate that in the two species, seed germination and seedling establishment in response to different soil water condition are habitat-specific. Because both species are susceptible to moderate changes in soil water condition, their species-specific requirements with respect to this factor should be a consideration when planning their conservation.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Pflanzenökologie (Körner)
UniBasel Contributors:Stöcklin, Jürg
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:13 Nov 2017 17:15
Deposited On:25 Oct 2013 08:33

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