Plant Ecology

, Volume 215, Issue 4, pp 411–415 | Cite as

Plant-derived smoke stimulates germination of four herbaceous species common in temperate regions of Europe

  • Andrea Mojzes
  • Tibor Kalapos


Germination responses to aerosol smoke and its aqueous solution (smoke–water) were studied in laboratory for six species common throughout temperate Europe: four annual weeds from the Brassicaceae family (Camelina microcarpa, Capsella bursa-pastoris, Descurainia sophia and Sisymbrium orientale), and two perennial Plantago species (P. lanceolata and P. media) inhabiting natural grasslands. It was hypothesized that smoke enhances germination for these species despite they are not fire-adapted. Both smoke treatments increased the final germination percentage for C. bursa-pastoris and D. sophia by fourfold to fivefold, for C. microcarpa by 73–224 % and for P. lanceolata by 26–41 % compared to the control. S. orientale and P. media showed high (>80 %) germination in the control with no significant response to smoke–water. These results confirm the occurrence of smoke-stimulated germination among species of the European natural flora inhabiting non-fire-prone habitats, suggest more successful seedling recruitment for smoke-responsive species with climate change-driven increase in fire frequency and can be used in the cultivation of the species or in weed control.


Aerosol smoke Brassicaceae Fire Plantago Smoke–water Weeds 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant Systematics, Ecology and Theoretical Biology, Institute of BiologyEötvös Loránd UniversityBudapestHungary

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