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Germination and persistence in soil of the dimorphic diaspores of Atriplex centralasiatica

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 August 2016

Rui Zhang
Affiliation:
State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecosystems, China, College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and Technology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, 730020, China
Yan Rong Wang*
Affiliation:
State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecosystems, China, College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and Technology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, 730020, China
Jerry M. Baskin
Affiliation:
Department of Biology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA
Carol C. Baskin
Affiliation:
Department of Biology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546, USA
Kai Luo
Affiliation:
State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecosystems, China, College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and Technology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, 730020, China
Xiao Wen Hu*
Affiliation:
State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecosystems, China, College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and Technology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, 730020, China
*
*Correspondence Emails: huxw@lzu.edu.cn and yrwang@lzu.edu.cn
*Correspondence Emails: huxw@lzu.edu.cn and yrwang@lzu.edu.cn

Abstract

The fruit plus accessory parts, and thus not only the fruit or seed, is the diaspore in some species of flowering plants. Atriplex centralasiatica, a summer annual salt-secreting cold-desert halophyte of central Asia that produces flat and humped diaspores, is such a species. The dispersal/germination units of this diaspore-heteromorphic species are fruits enclosed in persistent ‘bracteoles’. Germination of black and brown fruits (i.e. ‘bracteoles’ removed) of this species has been studied in some detail previously, but little attention has been given to the germination biology of the intact diaspores. The aim of this study was to compare the germination biology of the intact diaspores of A. centralasiatica, and their fates in the field during 12 months on the soil surface and buried at 5-cm depth. Fresh flat diaspores germinated to 42.7–51.3% in light (12-h photoperiod) and to 16.0–59.3% in constant dark, over a temperature range of 15–20/30°C, while no freshly matured humped diaspores did so under any temperature/light regime. Neither gibberellin (GA3) nor potassium nitrate (KNO3) had an effect on germination of either diaspore. Both diaspores readily imbibed water, and removal of ‘bracteoles’ released most of the dormancy. Thus, the ‘bracteoles’ are primarily responsible for diaspore dormancy in A. centralasiatica. Humped diaspores persisted for a longer period in the soil than flat ones. The germination requirements of intact natural dispersal/germination units of A. centralasiatica differ from those previously reported for fruits of this species.

Type
Research Papers
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016 

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