Comparative Seed Germination Ecology of Sabkha and Playa Halophytes of Pakistan

  • Aysha Rasheed
  • M. Zaheer Ahmed
  • Bilquees Gul
  • M. Ajmal Khan
  • Abdul HameedEmail author
Part of the Tasks for Vegetation Science book series (TAVS, volume 49)


Seed germination is a complex transition from quiescence stage of dry seeds to metabolically active seedling stage, hence is considered a critical time in the life history of plants. A number of factors such as salinity, temperature, photoperiod, and their interactions reportedly influence germination at temporal and spatial scale. However, seed germination responses may vary among species. In this study, we compared seed germination and recovery responses of two sabkha (Suaeda fruticosa and Salsola drummondii) and two playa (Suaeda heterophylla and Halogeton glomeratus) halophytes to variations in salinity, temperature, and photoperiod. There were many commonalities and differences in responses of seeds. Seeds of all test species were nondormant and positively photoblastic during germination. Salinity increments decreased seed germination of all test species. However, two Salsoloideae species (S. drummondii and H. glomeratus) showed higher seed germination than the two Suaedoideae species (S. fruticosa and S. heterophylla) under nonsaline conditions, irrespective of the habitat type. Under nonsaline conditions, seed germination of Salsoloideae species was temperature-independent, while seeds of Suaedoideae species germinated optimally at moderate temperature of 20/30 °C. Generally, the salinity tolerance limit of sabkha perennials was greater as compared to the playa annuals. Light improved seed germination of Suaedoideae and Salsoloideae members in nonsaline and saline condition, respectively. Recovery responses were generally species-specific. Ecophysiological significance of the findings has also been discussed.


Halophyte Photoperiod Salinity Seed dormancy Seed germination Temperature 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aysha Rasheed
    • 1
  • M. Zaheer Ahmed
    • 1
  • Bilquees Gul
    • 1
  • M. Ajmal Khan
    • 1
  • Abdul Hameed
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Sustainable Halophyte Utilization (ISHU)University of KarachiKarachiPakistan

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