, Volume 144, Issue 2, pp 121-124

Inhibitory effects of full daylight on the germination of Lactuca sativa L.

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Using glass filters that transmit various spectral bands and different intensities of natural daylight, experiments with achenes of lettuce cv. Vanquard were performed. Germination during prolonged treatment depended both on the far red/red radiation ratio and on the irradiance. The promotive effect of red radiation present in natural light prevailed at low irradiances, the inhibitory effect of far red radiation at high irradiances. The dormancy imposed by prolonged white light of high intensity can be cancelled by transferring the achenes to darkness or to diffuse weak white light. The effects are obviously of the “high irradiance response” type; they are exerted by the same mechanism that causes seed dormancy under leaf canopies. Some considerations on the ecological significance of seed behaviour are given.