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Germination niche breadth and potential response to climate change differ among three North American perennials

  • Ridma G. Bandara
  • Jessamine Finch
  • Jeffrey L. WalckEmail author
  • Siti N. Hidayati
  • Kayri Havens
S.I. : Seeds

Abstract

Responses of species to environmental change are largely dependent on their niche breadth. To investigate the relationship between germination niche breadth and sensitivity to climate change, we selected three North American perennials: Physalis longifolia, Asclepias syriaca and Penstemon digitalis. Dormancy loss and germination requirements were determined for seeds from populations along a Midwest US latitudinal gradient. Fresh seeds were incubated at 1, 5, 9, 15/6, 20/10, 25/15 and 30/15°C, and seeds cold stratified at 1, 5 and 9°C for 4–12 weeks were incubated at 15/6, 20/10, 25/15 and 30/15°C. Germination niche breadth (Levins’ Bn) was calculated from final germination proportion. In addition, a sequence of temperatures evaluated the effect of future warming on germination phenology. Germination differed significantly among populations and collection latitudes (P < 0.001), but variation did not have a latitudinal pattern. Niche breadth was widest for Physalis and Asclepias and narrowest for Penstemon (P ≤ 0.05), with implications for germination phenology. Germination shifted to autumn for Physalis and Asclepias under future warming in northern collection regions, and shifted earlier in spring for Penstemon regardless of region. Due to limited stratification and germination requirements, resulting in the narrowest niche breadth, we initially predicted Penstemon to be most at-risk, as future warming would fall outside its stratification envelope. However, species with wide niche breadths (Physalis and Asclepias) may be more vulnerable to climate change due to maladaptive shifts in germination phenology.

Keywords

Climate change Cold stratification Germination niche Germination phenology Intraspecific variation Latitudinal gradient 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank the many undergraduate students at Middle Tennessee State University for lab assistance. The Program in Plant Biology and Conservation at Northwestern University and the Chicago Botanic Garden’s College First and REU Site Programs (NSF DBI-1062675, 2014) supported population scouting and seed collection. We would specifically like to recognize the work of REU intern Courtney Devoid. We would also like to thanks all site managers for their permission and logistic help in seed collection.

Supplementary material

12224_2019_9347_MOESM1_ESM.docx (51 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 51.3 kb)
12224_2019_9347_Fig5_ESM.png (258 kb)
Fig. S1

Predicted germination proportions across temperatures for fresh seeds of three species. Color ramp indicates collection latitude, from light blue (low, 38°N) to dark blue (high, 46°N). Physalis longifolia was collected at two sites in two years, Asclepias syriaca was collected at eleven sites in 2013 and/or 2014 and Penstemon digitalis was collected at five sites in 2013 or 2014. Collection year is differentiated by point shape. Seeds were incubated in 12 h light/12 h dark for two weeks. Means and SE for each population were derived from minimal adequate GLM (quasibinomial error, logit link function). (PNG 257 kb)

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High resolution image (TIFF 35295 kb)
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Fig. S2

Predicted germination proportions across temperatures for cold-stratified seeds of Physalis longifolia. Color ramp indicates collection latitude, from light blue (low, 42°N) to dark blue (high, 46°N). Seeds, collected at two sites in two years, were stratified at 1, 5 and 9°C in 12 h light/12 h dark for 4, 8 and twelve weeks, and then incubated across the range of alternating temperatures in 12 h light/12 h dark for two weeks. Collection year is differentiated by point shape. Means and SE for each population were derived from minimal adequate GLM (quasibinomial error, logit link function). (PNG 284 kb)

12224_2019_9347_MOESM3_ESM.tiff (50 mb)
High resolution image (TIFF 51186 kb)
12224_2019_9347_Fig7_ESM.png (304 kb)
Fig. S3

Predicted germination proportions across temperatures for cold-stratified seeds of Asclepias syriaca. Color ramp indicates collection latitude, from light blue (low, 38°N) to dark blue (high, 46°N). Seeds, collected at eleven sites in 2013 and/or 2014, were stratified at 1, 5 and 9°C in 12 h light/12 h dark for 4, 8 and twelve weeks, and then incubated across the range of alternating temperatures in 12 h light/12 h dark for two weeks. Collection year is differentiated by point shape. Means and SE for each population were derived from minimal adequate GLM (quasibinomial error, logit link function). (PNG 304 kb)

12224_2019_9347_MOESM4_ESM.tiff (50 mb)
High resolution image (TIFF 51186 kb)
12224_2019_9347_Fig8_ESM.png (281 kb)
Fig. S4

Predicted germination proportions across temperatures for cold-stratified seeds of Penstemon digitalis. Color ramp indicates collection latitude, from light blue (low, 40°N) to dark blue (high, 46°N). Seeds, collected at five sites in 2013 or 2014, were stratified at 1, 5 and 9°C in 12 h light/12 h dark for 4, 8 and twelve weeks, and then incubated across the range of alternating temperatures in 12 h light/12 h dark for two weeks. Collection year is differentiated by point shape. Means and SE for each population were derived from minimal adequate GLM (quasibinomial error, logit link function). (PNG 281 kb)

12224_2019_9347_MOESM5_ESM.tiff (50 mb)
High resolution image (TIFF 51186 kb)

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Copyright information

© Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyMiddle Tennessee State UniversityMurfreesboroUSA
  2. 2.Department of Plant Science and ConservationChicago Botanic GardenGlencoeUSA
  3. 3.Program in Plant Biology and ConservationNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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