, Volume 97, Issue 2, pp 117–124 | Cite as

The ecology of the seed in Trapa natans var. Japonica in a eutrophic lake

  • M. Kurihara
  • I. Ikusima


The production, density and environment of buried seeds and the temperature response of germinating seeds in Trapa natans var. japonica Nakai were ascertained. The mechanism of high reproductivity, tolerance of the plant for eutrophication and the stability of the stand in an eutrophic lake are discussed. The mean fresh weight of seeds was about 7.2 g, and the density of liver and dead seeds in April ranged 66.7 to 80.0 m-2 and 26.7 to 97.8 m-2, respectively. The threshold temperature that breaks dormancy and promotes germination in the lake was the low temperature, 8°C. The dormancy of buried seeds was almost broken under the field condition in January. The rate of germination obtained by the field experiment, and the estimation from the density of buried seed and the number of seeds germinated at the stand, were 87% and 60%, respectively. It was estimated that about 30% of the seedlings died before the floating leaf reached water surface. A rosette produced less than three seeds a year, which were fewer than for another Trapa, but the size of the former was larger. The number of seeds changed year by year, but the size-distribution pattern of seeds did not change with years, nor was it affected by the density of rosettes. The reason why T. natans var. japonica could succeed in eutrophic waters was attributed to reproductive strategy. The stand could recover by increasing the number of rosettes through the great branching ability of the main stem, even when the density of buried seeds was greatly decreased in the previous year.


Reproduction strategy Buried seed Dormancy Germination rate rosette Branching ability 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Kurihara
    • 1
  • I. Ikusima
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Ecology, Faculty of ScienceChiba UniversityChibaJapan
  2. 2.Marine Ecosystems Research Center, Faculty of ScienceChiba UniversityChibaJapan

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