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Abstract Detail

Physiology & Ecophysiology

Chen, Huayang [1], Lan, Qinying [2], Tan, Yunhong [2], Cao, Kunfang [3], Manage Goodale, Uromi [1].

Seed water balance characteristics and seed traits in epiphytic and terrestrial Ficus species from South China.

In this study, we assessed which seed traits could be predictive of seed germination success and the movement of water across seed membranes. We used 16 Ficus species and recorded seed germination success of these species by subjecting each species' seeds to germinate in controlled germination chambers set at 15°C, 25°C, and 35°C. Seed traits such as seed width, length, perimeter, area, mass and other descriptive characteristics and water balance characteristics were also determined for each species. Seed water balance characteristics were measured placing seeds in sealable plastic containers saturated with chemical and water solutions to adjust the relative humidities within the plastic containers. The relative humidity adjustments were done using a saturated chemical series (chemicals and respective relative humidities were: NaOH 6%; LiCl 11%; MgCl2 33%; K2CO3 43%; Mg(NO3)2 54%; NaCl 75%; KCl 85%; K2SO4 97%; Water 100%). Our results showed that the germination of most species was best at 25°C although there was no significant difference between this temperature and 35°C. However, seeds germinated at 35°C were less likely to develop into seedlings as the 35°C conditions were very dry resulting in seedling death or arrest of further seedling development. At 15°C and 35°C terrestrial species germination was significantly higher compared to the germination observed for epiphytic species. The correlations between all seed traits and germination success using Pearson correlations in R and visualizations using R package corrgram showed that germination rate was highly correlated with species' seed surface area. Water balance assessment of terrestrial versus epiphytic species' seeds showed that epiphytes can absorb water quickly and germinate under higher relative humidity conditions. This study provides insights into ecological processes of seed germination and seedling development in a genus with diverse plant habits; with climate change epiphytic species may be more affected during germination compared to terrestrial species. Further investigations on the effect of water availability and temperature fluctuations in the field are needed to enhance our eco-physiological understanding of the role that water and temperature plays in germination success.

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1 - Guangxi University, Guangxi Key Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Conservation, Forestry College, 100, Daxuedonglu, Nanning, GX, 530004, China
2 - Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology and Germplasm Bank, Menglun, Mengla, Yunan, 666303, China
3 - Guangxi University, State Key Laboratory of Conservation and Utilization of Subtropical Agro-bioresources, Plant Ecophysiology and Evolution Group, College of Forestry , Daxuedonglu 100, Nanning, Guangxi, 530004, China

Water relations
Seed functional traits
Seed Coat Permeability
Ficus germination
Seed Germination.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 39, Ecophysiology
Location: 114/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Wednesday, July 25th, 2018
Time: 9:15 AM
Number: 39006
Abstract ID:311
Candidate for Awards:Physiological Section Best Paper Presentation

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