Restoration Seed Banks-A Matter of Scale

Kings Park and Botanic Garden, West Perth, Western Australia 6005, Australia.
Science (Impact Factor: 31.48). 04/2011; 332(6028):424-5. DOI: 10.1126/science.1203083
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Context The use of native species in ecological restoration is highly recommended but, in practice, it is often impaired by knowledge gaps in the germination ecology of suitable species. & Aims This study aimed to assess the role of storage condi-tions and seed source on the germination of three Mediterranean shrub species with contrasting types of dormancy. & Methods Ripe fruits were harvested at two or three distant locations in mainland Portugal. Seeds were subjected to three treatments consisting in different storage conditions: cold storage at low and high moisture conditions, plus a control. Five replicates of up to 30 seeds were placed under constant temperature conditions and germination was monitored weekly during 14 weeks. & Results The effect of cold storage at high moisture on germination differed between the three species and seed source played a significant role in the germination of all three species. In the case of the species with dormancy, the observed differences in germination could reflect changes in the spe-cies' dormancy degree or sensitivity to dormancy breaking factors across their geographical range. In the case of Pistacia lentiscus (no dormancy), the results suggested a possible adaptation of the northern seed source to high moisture conditions. & Conclusions The observed differences between species agreed well with their dormancy types, and the seed source-related differences could be adaptive features, as they seemed related with local climate conditions.
    Annals of Forest Science 06/2014; 71(8). DOI:10.1007/s13595-014-0395-z · 1.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Management of seed banks conserving the biodiversity of phylogenetically diverse species requires insight into seed longevity. This study determined the seed longevity of 172 species sourced from across the mega-diverse flora of the Australia continent. Seeds were aged via a controlled ageing experiment through storage at 45 °C and 60 % RH, or 60 °C and 60 % RH, and regularly tested for germination. Relative seed longevity between species was determined by comparing the time to 50 % viability loss (p 50), calculated via probit analysis of seed survival curves. Seed, plant, and environmental traits were examined for associations with longevity. The p 50 values varied between species from 3.0 to 588.6 days. Serotinous species, and woody trees and shrubs, had significantly longer-lived seeds than geosporous species, and species of herbaceous habit. Seeds that possess physical dormancy, and seeds with large embryos with little endosperm, were also long-lived. There was a weak, but significant, positive correlation between seed mass and longevity. Seeds sourced from regions of higher mean annual temperature and rainfall were significantly longer-lived than seeds from cooler and drier regions, although both environmental factors were weakly associated with longevity. Compared with species from other regions of the world, prolonged longevity is a feature of many Australian species. Nevertheless, seed life-spans vary substantially between species and close consideration of seed traits along with biotic and abiotic components of the plants and their environment can assist to differentiate between potentially long- and short-lived seeds.
    Biodiversity and Conservation 05/2014; 23(5). DOI:10.1007/s10531-014-0641-6 · 2.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We used DNA barcoding to address an important conservation issue in the Midwest of Western Australia, working on Australia's largest genus of flowering plant. We tested whether or not currently recommended plant DNA barcoding regions (matK and rbcL) were able to discriminate Acacia taxa of varying phylogenetic distances, and ultimately identify an ambiguously labelled seed collection from a mine-site restoration project. Although matK successfully identified the unknown seed as the rare and conservation priority listed A. karina, and was able to resolve six of the eleven study species, this region was difficult to amplify and sequence. In contrast, rbcL was straightforward to recover and align, but could not determine the origin of the seed and only resolved 3 of the 11 species. Other chloroplast regions (rpl32-trnL, psbA-trnH, trnL-F and trnK) had mixed success resolving the studied taxa. In general, species were better resolved in multilocus data sets compared to single-locus data sets. We recommend using the formal barcoding regions supplemented with data from other plastid regions, particularly rpl32-trnL, for barcoding in Acacia. Our study demonstrates the novel use of DNA barcoding for seed identification and illustrates the practical potential of DNA barcoding for the growing discipline of restoration ecology.
    Molecular Ecology Resources 02/2013; DOI:10.1111/1755-0998.12060 · 5.63 Impact Factor

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