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Ecological Research

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 467–474 | Cite as

Seed germination and seedling growth in the arrow bamboo Fargesia qinlingensis

  • Wei WangEmail author
  • Scott B. Franklin
  • Margaret C. Cirtain
Original Article

Abstract

Improving natural regeneration of bamboos after they die following mass flowering is critical for conservation of giant pandas. However, little is known about factors that affect seed germination and seedling growth of bamboos. We studied seed germination and seedling growth in Fargesia qinlingensis, which mass flowered in a giant panda habitat in the Qinling Mountains of China in early 2000, in laboratory and greenhouse conditions. Seed germination rate was tested under light and dark conditions 5 and 12 months after seed collection. Germination rate displayed no significant difference under light or dark conditions 5 months after seed collection, but was significantly greater in the dark than under light 12 months after seed collection, suggesting light inhibition of seed germination. A 2×2 factorial design was conducted to test the effects of nitrogen (N fertilization and non-N fertilization) and light [full sun and shade (i.e., 14% full sun)] on seedling growth and biomass allocation. N fertilization significantly increased seedling growth, resulting in greater seedling height, more branches, more leaves, greater stem biomass, and greater leaf biomass. Seedlings under 14% full sun conditions had a significantly lower percentage of biomass allocated to the stem. The root/shoot ratio was significantly greater in non-N/shade than non-N/full sun, while there was no significant difference in this ratio between N/shade and N/full sun, suggesting that nitrogen fertilization compensated for the effect of shade on biomass allocation. Our results suggest that N fertilization could be employed in restoration of F. qinlingensis stands after die-off following mass flowering.

Keywords

Bamboo Fargesia qinlingensis Nitrogen Light Regeneration 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Dr. Takuya Kajimoto and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on the manuscript, and Leigang Zhao, Junan Li, and Tianshun Yue for collecting seeds from the field. We thank Dr. Barbara Taller for kindly allowing us to use the greenhouse for seedling experiment and Dr. S. Reza Pezeshki for kindly allowing us to use his laboratory for seed germination experiment. This research was supported by the Memphis Zoo.

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Copyright information

© The Ecological Society of Japan 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Scott B. Franklin
    • 1
  • Margaret C. Cirtain
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyThe University of MemphisMemphisUSA

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