Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Reproductive capacity, germination and survivorship of Lithospermum caroliniense on Lake Huron sand dunes

  • 85 Accesses

  • 7 Citations


The flowering of pin (long-styled) and thrum (short-styled) plants in populations of Lithospermum caroliniense (Walt.) McMill. was synchronized and both morphs had an extended period of flowering. The plants produced a large number of flowers that did not set seeds — hence the seed production per plant was very low. The seeds showed strong dormancy. Even under natural conditions, only 19% of the seeds produced seedlings. However, seedling survival was relatively high probably due to rapid root growth to deeper layers where moisture was not limiting. The probability of survival of seedlings increased with age; survival of seedlings, juveniles and adults after 2 years was 39, 68 and 98%, respectively. The dry weight of roots increased from 10% in June to 42% in September whereas the proportion of biomass contained in leaves, stems and hypocotyls decreased with age.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Antonovics J (1972) Population dynamics of the grass Anthoxanthum odoratum on a zinc mine. J Ecol 60:351–365

  2. Baldwin KA (1982) Comparative microenvironmental studies in some primary sand dune habitats at Pinery Provincial Park, Ontario. M.Sc. Thesis, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario

  3. Baldwin KA, Maun MA (1983) Microenvironment of Lake Huron sand dunes. Can J Bot 61:241–255

  4. Borror DJ, De Long DM, Triplehorn CA (1981) An Introduction to the Study of Insects. 5th ed Saunderes College Publishing, Philadelphia

  5. Delouche JC, Still TW, Raspet M, Lienhard B (1962) The tetrazolium test for seed viability. Miss Agr Exp Stn Tech Bull 51:1–64

  6. Dixon WJ, Brown MB (eds) (1971) BMDP-79: Biomedical Computer Programs, P-series: Univ of Calif Press, Berkeley

  7. Rankel R, Galun E (1977) Pollination Mechanisms, Reproduction, and Plant Breeding, Springer-Verlag, New York

  8. Ganders FR (1979a) The biology of heterostyly. New Zealand J Bot 17:607–635

  9. Ganders FR (1979b) Heterostyly in Lithospermum cobrense (Boraginaceae). Am J Bot 66:746–748

  10. Gleason HA, Cronquist A (1963) Manual of Vascular Plants of Northestern United States and Adjacent Canada D. Van Nostrand, New York

  11. Gross RS, Werner PA (1983) Relationships among flowering phenology, insect visitors, and seed-set of individuals: Experimental studies of four co-occurring species of Goldenrod (Solidago: Compositae). Ecol Monogr 53:55–117

  12. Heinrich B (1976) Flowering phenologies: bog, woodland and disturbed habitats. Ecology 57:890–899

  13. Johnston IM (1952) Studies in the Boraginaceae, XXXIII. A survey of the genus Lithospermum. J Arnold Arboretum 33:299–363

  14. Kerster HW, Levin DA (1968) Neighbourhood size in Lithospermum caroliniense. Genetics 60:577–587

  15. Krajnyk I, Maun MA (1982) Reproductive biology of Ammophila breviligulata. Amer Midl Nat 108:346–354

  16. Laing CC (1958) Studies in the ecology of Ammophila breviligulata. I. Seedling survival and its relation to population increase and dispersal. Bot Gaz 119:208–216

  17. Levin DA (1968) The breeding system of Lithospermum caroliniense: adaptation and counteradaptation. Amer Nat 102:427–441

  18. Levin DA (1972) Plant density, cleistogamy, and self-fertilization in natural populations of Lithospermum caroliniense. Amer J Bot 59:71–77

  19. Mack RN (1976) Survivorship of Cerastium atrovirens at Aberffraw, Anglesey. J Ecol 64:309–312

  20. Maguire JD, Overland A (1959) Laboratory germination of seeds of weedy and native plants. Wash Agr Exp Sta Circ 349:1–15

  21. Mantel N (1966) Evaluation of survival data and two nrw rank order statistics arising in its consideration. Cancer Chemotherapy Reports 50:163–170

  22. Maun MA (1981) Seed germination and seedling establishment of Calamovilfa longifolia on Lake Huron sand dunes. Can J Bot 59:460–469

  23. Maun MA (1985) Population biology of Ammopila breviligulata and Calamovilfa longifolia on Lake Huron sand dunes. I. Habitat, growth form, reproduction and establishment. Can J Bot 63:113–124

  24. Mayer AM, Shain Y (1974) Control of seed germination. Ann Rev Plant Physiol 25:167–193

  25. Nichols GE (1934) The influence of exposure to winter temperatures upon germination in various native American plants. Ecology 15:364–373

  26. Ornduff R (1976) The reproductive system of Amsinckia grandiflora, a distylous species. Syst Bot 1:57–66

  27. Ornduff R (1980) Heterostyly population composition and pollen flow in Hedyotis caerulea. Am J Bot 67:95–103

  28. Payne AM (1980) The ecology and population dynamics of Cakile edentula var. lacustris on Lake Huron beaches. M.Sc. Thesis, University of Western Ontario, London Ontario

  29. Payne AM, Maun MA (1984) Reproduction and survivorship of Cakile edentula var. lacustris on Lake Huron shoreline. Amer Midl Nat 111:86–95

  30. Pelton J (1961) An investigation of the ecology of Mertensia ciliata in Colorado. Ecology 42:38–52

  31. Philipp M, Schou O (1981) An unusual heteromorphic incompatibility system. Distyly, self-incompatibility, pollen load and fecundity in Anchusa officinalis (Boraginaceae). New Phytol 89:693–704

  32. Ranwell DA (1972) Ecology of Salt Marshes and Sand Dunes. Chapman and Hall, London

  33. Salisbury EJ (1942) The Reproductive Capacity of Plants. Bell, London

  34. Sarukhan J, Harper JL (1973) Studies on plant demography: Ranunculus repens L., R. bulbosus L. and R. acris L. I. Population flux and survivorhip. J Ecol 61:675–716

  35. Schaal BA (1980) Reproductive capacity and seed size in Lupinus texensis. Amer J Bot 67:703–709

  36. Schemske DW, Willson MF, Melamphy MN, Miller LJ, Werner L, Schemske KM, Best LB (1978) Flowering ecology of some spring woodland herbs. Ecology 59:251–366

  37. Sharitz RR, McCormick JF (1973) Population dynamics of two competing annual plant species. Ecology 54:723–740

  38. Stephenson AG (1980) Fruit set, herbivory, fruit reduction, and the fruiting strategy of Catalpa speciosa (Bignoniaceae). Ecology 61:57–64

  39. Udovic D (1981) Determinants of fruit set in Yucca whipplei: reproductive expenditure vs. pollinator availability. Oecologia (Berlin) 48:389–399

  40. Udovic D, Aker C (1981) Fruit abortion and regulation in Yucca whipplei. Oecologia (Berlin) 49:245–248

  41. Wagner RH (1964) The ecology of Uniola paniculata L. in the dune strand habitat of North Carolina. Ecol Monogr 34:79–96

  42. Watkinson AR (1978) The demography of a sand dune annual: Vulpia fasciculata. II. The dynamics of seed populations. J Ecol 66:35–44

  43. Watkinson AR, Harper JL (1978) Demography of a sand dune annual: Vulpia fasciculata. I. The natural regulation of populations. J Ecol 66:15–33

  44. Weller SG (1980) Pollen flow and fecundity in populations of Lithospermum caroliniense. Amer J Bot 67:1334–1341

  45. Westelaken IL (1984) Population dynamics and ecology of Lithospermum caroliniense (Walt.) MacMill. on the Lake Huron sand dunes. M.Sc. Thesis, University of Western Ontario, London

  46. Westelaken IL, Maun MA (1985) Spatial pattern and seed dispersal of Lithospermum caroliniense on Lake Huron sand dunes. Can J Bot 63:125–132

  47. Willson MF, Price PW (1977) The evolution of inflorescence size in Asclepias (Asclepiadaceae). Evolution 31:495–511

  48. Willson MF, Rathke B (1974) Adaptive design of the floral display in Asclepias syriaca L. Am Midl Nat 92:47–57

  49. Zar JH (1974) Biostatistical Analysis. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to M. A. Maun.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Westelaken, I.L., Maun, M.A. Reproductive capacity, germination and survivorship of Lithospermum caroliniense on Lake Huron sand dunes. Oecologia 66, 238–245 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00379860

Download citation


  • Biomass
  • Natural Condition
  • Root Growth
  • Seed Production
  • Deep Layer