Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 73, Issue 1–2, pp 3–13 | Cite as

Predicting changes in dormancy level in natural seed soil banks

  • Diego BatllaEmail author
  • Roberto Luis Benech-Arnold


The possibility of accurately predicting timing and extent of seedling emergence from natural seed soil banks has long been an objective of both ecologist and agriculturalist. However, as dormancy is a common attribute of many wild seed populations, we should first be able to predict dormancy changes if we intend to predict seedling emergence in the field. In this paper, we discuss the most relevant environmental factors affecting seed dormancy of natural seed soil banks, and present a conceptual framework as an attempt to understand how these factors affect seed-bank dormancy level. Based on this conceptual framework we show approaches that can be used to establish quantitative functional relationship between environmental factors regulating dormancy and changes in the seed-bank dormancy status. Finally, we briefly explain how we can utilize population-based threshold models as a framework to characterize and quantify changes in seed sensitivity to environmental factors as a consequence of dormancy loss and/or induction.


Population-based threshold models Seed soil banks Seed dormancy Soil temperature Thermal-time 



This paper is based on the talk presented by the authors in the 4th International Symposium on Plant Dormancy held in Fargo, USA, 8–11 June 2009. Diego Batlla would like to thank the organization committee for inviting him and funding his assistance to the symposium.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.I.F.E.V.A./Cátedra de Cerealicultura, C.O.N.I.C.E.T./Facultad de AgronomíaUniversidad de Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.I.F.E.V.A./Cátedra de Cultivos Industriales, C.O.N.I.C.E.T./Facultad de AgronomíaUniversidad de Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina

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