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Seed germination and seedling emergence of three Artemisia species (Asteraceae) inhabiting desert sand dunes in China

  • Kazuo Tobe (a1), Liping Zhang (a2) and Kenji Omasa (a3)

Abstract

Artemisia ordosica, A. arenaria and A. sphaerocephala are semi-shrubs inhabiting desert sand dunes in China and often used to rehabilitate desertified areas. Improvement of dune rehabilitation success by sowing requires better understanding of the processes involved in the control of seed germination and seedling emergence in these species. Thus, (1) effects of temperature, light and osmotica (polyethylene glycol-6000) on seed germination, and (2) effects of seed burial depth in sand and irrigation regime on seedling emergence, were studied under controlled conditions. Seeds of the three species required light for germination, and the light fluence needed for germination was dependent on temperature. Seedling emergence of the three species was maximal (70–94%) for seeds sown at a depth of 2.5 mm, and decreased with increasing seed burial depth when the pots were initially and subsequently treated with 16 mm and 3 mm irrigation at 1-d intervals. However, when the pots were initially and subsequently treated with 8 mm and 3 mm irrigation at 2-d intervals, seedling emergence was almost completely suppressed due to water deficiency in sand. It is suggested that the probability of seed germination and seedling emergence of the three species in the field is very limited, because the light requirement restricts seed germination to shallow sand layers where water is lost rapidly due to evaporation. Temperature appeared to have secondary effects on seed germination, by modifying the light sensitivity of seeds.

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Corresponding author

*Correspondence: Fax: +81 29 850 2587, Email: tobe@nies.go.jp

References

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Seed germination and seedling emergence of three Artemisia species (Asteraceae) inhabiting desert sand dunes in China

  • Kazuo Tobe (a1), Liping Zhang (a2) and Kenji Omasa (a3)

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