, Volume 61, Issue 1-3, pp 223-229

Salinity and seed germination patterns in coastal plants

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The seed germination behaviour of a number of coastal species suggests that they can be separated into three categories, whose response to salinity shows some correlation with habitat. All but two germinated well in fresh water. After immersion for several days in 1/2, full, and 1 1/2 strength seawater all recover at least partly. Dune species are more adversely affected by salinity than those from shingle, driftline or salt marsh. Several species, mostly from salt marsh, exhibit ‘salt stimulation’. The final germination on transfer to fresh water of these species is greater the higher the salinity during pretreatment.

Nomenclature follows Clapham, Tutin & Warburg (1983). Excursion Flora of the British Isles. Ed. 3.
Acknowledgements: The credit for most of the hard work in this study must go to Mr F. Topliffe, who has monitored these experiments with great care and patience, and who has drawn the graphs. Thanks are due to the Nature Conservancy Council for making facilities available at Scolt Head Island National Nature Reserve.