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Germination at Extreme Temperatures: Implications for Alpine Shrub Encroachment

Venn, Susanna, Gallagher, RV and Nicotra, AB 2021, Germination at Extreme Temperatures: Implications for Alpine Shrub Encroachment, Plants, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 327-327, doi: 10.3390/plants10020327.

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Title Germination at Extreme Temperatures: Implications for Alpine Shrub Encroachment
Author(s) Venn, SusannaORCID iD for Venn, Susanna orcid.org/0000-0002-7433-0120
Gallagher, RV
Nicotra, AB
Journal name Plants
Volume number 10
Issue number 2
Start page 327
End page 327
Total pages 9
Publisher MDPI
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publication date 2021-02
ISSN 2223-7747
Keyword(s) germination niche
temperature gradient plate
climate extremes
conservation management
species geographic range
climate warming
Australia
Summary Worldwide, shrub cover is increasing across alpine and tundra landscapes in response to warming ambient temperatures and declines in snowpack. With a changing climate, shrub encroachment may rely on recruitment from seed occurring outside of the optimum temperature range. We used a temperature gradient plate in order to determine the germination niche of 14 alpine shrub species. We then related the range in laboratory germination temperatures of each species to long-term average temperature conditions at: (1) the location of the seed accession site and (2) across each species geographic distribution. Seven of the species failed to germinate sufficiently to be included in the analyses. For the other species, the germination niche was broad, spanning a range in temperatures of up to 17 °C, despite very low germination rates in some species. Temperatures associated with the highest germination percentages were all above the range of temperatures present at each specific seed accession site. Optimum germination temperatures were consistently within or higher than the range of maximum temperatures modelled across the species’ geographic distribution. Our results indicate that while some shrub species germinate well at high temperatures, others are apparently constrained by an inherent seed dormancy. Shrub encroachment in alpine areas will likely depend on conditions that affect seed germination at the microsite-scale, despite overall conditions becoming more suitable for shrubs at high elevations.
Language eng
DOI 10.3390/plants10020327
Indigenous content off
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30148168

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.