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Effect of Light and Moisture Conditions and Seed Age on Germination of Three Closely Related Myosotis Species

Abstract

Germination of three closely related species from the Myosotis palustris group (M. nemorosa, M. palustris subsp. laxiflora, M. caespitosa) differing in their habitats and capacity for clonal growth, was compared in two greenhouse experiments. To evaluate both inter- and intraspecific variation, each species was represented by seeds from several populations. Final germination percentage and germination rates T50 were compared both between species and populations within species. In the first experiment, we studied the influence of two external factors, moisture and light. Four moisture levels (dry, wet, periodically flooded and permanently flooded soil) and three types of shading (without shading, shaded with green foil, shaded with solid paper sheet) were combined in a complete factorial design. In all three species, total germination percentage was the same in the three wettest treatments, and decreased in the dry treatment. Germination in the treatments shaded with green foil (simulating vegetation cover, which changed light quality) was significantly slower than in treatments without shading and treatments shaded with a solid paper sheet. There were significant differences among species, but we also found very pronounced differences among populations within a species. M. caespitosa had the uniformly highest germination percentage (reaching in some cases 100%) and also fastest germination. Germination of M. palustris subsp. laxiflora populations was slower and reached lower final proportions, and medium variability among populations. Inter-population variability in the final germination percentage was highest, and the final germination the lowest in M. nemorosa. In addition, M. nemorosa, a species typical for permanent meadow communities was delayed by permanent flooding. In the second experiment, we studied the effects of seed age and storage conditions. Three combinations of seed age and storage were used: younger seeds (half year old) with no-chilling, younger seeds with chilling and old seeds (three years old) with chilling. M. caespitosa had again the highest final germination percentage and fastest germination rates T50. In addition, final germination percentage of this species slightly increased with seed age, whereas it decreased in the other two species. The germination behaviour corresponded well to expectation based on species life histories and habitat preferences. Remarkably stable and high germination percentages and fastest germination rates T50 were ascertained in M. caespitosa, a species of disturbed habitats, with lowest capacity for clonal spread. M. palustris subsp. laxiflora (species with highest clonal capacity) and M. nemorosa (species with medium clonal potential) achieved lower, but still very high final germination percentage. In addition, M. nemorosa showed the highest inter-populations variability in our experiments.

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Acknowledgement

The study was supported by the grants of Granting Agency of the Czech Republic (206/03/H034 and 206/09/1471), and Czech Ministry of Education (6007665801 and LC06073). We are grateful to Keith Edwards for editing the English.

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Correspondence to Eva Koutecká.

Appendices

Appendix 1. Localities of seeds collected for Experiment 1.

Abbreviations of species: C - M. caespitosa, L - M. laxiflora, N - M. nemorosa

Pop. nr. Species Coordinates Altitude (m) Locality Habitat type
1 C 49°38′ N, 15°54′ E 610 Dářko growth forbs at the margin of “Nový rybník” pond
2 C 48°46′ N, 14°48′ E 550 Veveřský rybník margin of “Veveřský” pond
3 C 49°04′ N, 14°21′ E 385 U Vomáčků margin of “U Vomáčků” pond
4 C 49°03′ N, 14°23′ E 385 Přední Topole margin of “Přední Topole” pond
5 C 49°04′ N, 14°22′ E 385 Mydlovarský rybník margin of “Mydlák” pond
6 L 48°54′ N, 14°36′ E 480 Trocnov sandy deposit of brook
7 L 48°52′ N, 14°22′ E 440 Plešovice bank of “Vltava” river
8 L 48°49′ N, 14°20′ E 460 Český Krumlov alluvial deposit at “Vltava” river
9 L 49°00′ N, 14°50′ E 430 Stará řeka alder carr near “Dušákovský” pond
10 L 49°01′ N, 14°50′ E 430 Lužnice sandy alluvial deposit at “Lužnice” river bank
11 N 48°57′ N, 14°36′ E 515 Ohrazení a wet, oligotrophic, species-rich meadow
12 N 48°58′ N, 14°33′ E 510 Třebotovice a ditch separating road and wood
13 N 49°20′ N, 15°01′ E 640 Benešov a wet, oligotrophic meadow
14 N 49°26′ N, 15°18′ E 585 Džbán a meadow margin neighbouring with wood
15 N 49°25′ N, 14°12′ E 390 Zvíkov a ditch along a road

Appendix 2. Localities of seeds collected for Experiment 2.

Abbreviations of species: C - M. caespitosa, L - M. laxiflora, N - M. nemorosa. Abbreviations of age: Y - “younger” (collected in 2005); O - “old” (collected in 2003)

Pop. nr. Species Age Coordinates Altitude (m) Locality Habitat type
1 C Y 49°04′ N, 14°24′ E 380 Munický rybník margin of “Munický” pond
2 C Y 49°04′ N, 14°22′ E 385 Mydlovarský rybník margin of “Mydlák” pond
3 C Y 48°46′ N, 14°48′ E 550 Veveřský rybník margin of “Veveřský” pond
4 C Y 49°23′ N, 15°33′ E 570 Rybník Lukáš margin of “Lukáš” pond
5 C Y 49°38′ N, 15°54′ E 610 Dářko growth of forbs at the margin of “Nový rybník” pond
6 L Y 49°00′ N, 14°50′ E 430 Stará řeka alder carr near “Dušákovský” pond
7 L Y 49°22′ N, 15°35′ E 520 Rančířov margin of the meadow near “Jihlava” river
8 L Y 48°54′ N, 14°36′ E 480 Trocnov sandy deposit of brook
9 N Y 48°57′ N, 14°35′ E 510 Kaliště-cesta woody path
10 N Y 48°57′ N, 14°35′ E 495 Kaliště-louka wet meadow
11 N Y 49°19′ N, 15°28′ E 580 Jezdkovické rašeliniště small pond in the “Jezdkovické“ mire
12 N Y 49°22′ N, 15°33′ E 580 Vysoká overgrown wet meadow along brook
13 N Y 48°54′ N, 14°36′ E 660 Milíčovské rašeliniště “Milíčovské” mire
14 N Y 49°26′ N, 15°23′ E 610 Jankovský potok margin of “Jankovský” brook
15 C O 49°04′ N, 14°21′ E 385 U Vomáčků margin of “U Vomáčků” pond
16 C O 49°03′ N, 14°23′ E 385 Přední Topole margin of “Přední Topole” pond
17 C O 48°46′ N, 14°48′ E 550 Veveřský rybník margin of “Veveřský” pond
18 C O 49°38′ N, 15°54′ E 610 Dářko growth of forbs at the margin of “Nový rybník” pond
19 L O 48°52′ N, 14°22′ E 440 Hvízdal bank of “Vltava” river
20 L O 49°00′ N, 14°50′ E 430 Stará řeka alder carr near “Dušákovský” pond
21 L O 48°49′ N, 14°20′ E 460 Český Krumlov alluvial deposit at “Vltava” river
22 L O 48°54′ N, 14°36′ E 480 Trocnov sandy deposit of brook
23 L O 49°01′ N, 14°50′ E 430 Lužnice sandy alluvial deposit at “Lužnice” river bank
24 N O 48°57′ N, 14°36′ E 515 Ohrazení a wet, oligotrophic, species-rich meadow
25 N O 49°20′ N, 15°01′ E 640 Benešov a wet, oligotrophic meadow
26 N O 48°58′ N, 14°33′ E 510 Třebotovice a ditch separating road and wood
27 N O 49°25′ N, 15°21′ E 640 U Vyskytenské hájovny an alder carr
28 N O 49°25′ N, 14°12′ E 390 Zvíkov a ditch along a road

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Koutecká, E., Lepš, J. Effect of Light and Moisture Conditions and Seed Age on Germination of Three Closely Related Myosotis Species. Folia Geobot 44, 109–130 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12224-009-9038-9

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Keywords

  • Chilling
  • Flooding
  • Greenhouse experiments
  • Seed age
  • Seed storage
  • Shading