Dormancy and germination: making every seed count in restoration
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From 50 to 90% of wild plant species worldwide produce seeds that are dormant upon maturity, with specific dormancy traits driven by species' occurrence geography, growth form, and genetic factors. While dormancy is a beneficial adaptation for intact natural systems, it can limit plant recruitment in restoration scenarios because seeds may take several seasons to lose dormancy and consequently show low or erratic germination. During this time, seed predation, weed competition, soil erosion, and seed viability loss can lead to plant re-establishment failure. Understanding and considering seed dormancy and germination traits in restoration planning are thus critical to ensuring effective seed management and seed use efficiency. There are five known dormancy classes (physiological, physical, combinational, morphological, and morphophysiological), each requiring specific cues to alleviate dormancy and enable germination. The dormancy status of a seed can be determined through a series of simple steps that account for initial seed quality and assess germination across a range of environmental conditions. In this article, we outline the steps of the dormancy classification process and the various corresponding methodologies for ex situ dormancy alleviation. We also highlight the importance of record-keeping and reporting of seed accession information (e.g. geographic coordinates of the seed collection location, cleaning and quality information, storage conditions, and dormancy testing data) to ensure that these factors are adequately considered in restoration planning.
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Increasing the germination envelope under water stress improves seedling emergence in two dominant grass species across different pulse rainfall eventsLewandrowski, W.; Erickson, T.; Dixon, Kingsley; Stevens, J. (2016)Demographic recruitment processes, such as seed germination and seedling emergence, are critical transitional phases to the re-establishment of degraded plant populations, but often fail due to rainfall not supporting ...
Sympatric species of Hibbertia (Dilleniaceae) vary in dormancy break and germination requirements: Implications for classifying morphophysiological dormancy in Mediterranean biomesHidayati, S.; Walck, J.; Merritt, D.; Turner, S.; Turner, D.; Dixon, Kingsley (2012)Background and Aims: Several ecologically important plant families in Mediterranean biomes have seeds with morphophysiological dormancy (MPD) but have been poorly studied. The aim of this study was to understand the seed ...
Shaw, N.; Barak, R.S.; Campbell, R.E.; Kirmer, A.; Pedrini, Simone ; Dixon, Kingsley ; Frischie, S. (2020)© 2020 The Authors. Restoration Ecology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Society for Ecological Restoration Seed delivery to site is a critical step in seed-based restoration programs. Months or years of ...