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Seed germination of Sierra Nevada postfire chaparral species

January 1, 2005

The California chaparral community has a rich flora of species with different mechanisms for cuing germination to postfire conditions. Here we report further germination experiments that elucidate the response of several widespread shrub species whose germination response was not clear and include other species from the Sierra Nevada, which have not previously been included in germination studies. The shrubs Adenostoma fasciculatum and Eriodictyon crassifolium and the postfire annualMentzelia dispersa exhibited highly significant germination in response to smoke treatments, with some enhanced germination in response to heating as well. The shrubs Fremontodendron californicum and Malacothamnus fremontii were stimulated only by heat-shock treatments. Seeds buried in the soil for one year exhibited substantially higher germination for controls and most treatments. In the case of two postfire annuals, Mimulus bolanderi and M. gracilipes, germination of fresh seed was significantly greater with smoke or heating but after soil storage, over two-thirds of the control seeds germinated and treatment effects were not significant. These two annuals are generally restricted to postfire conditions and it is suggested that control germination of soil-stored seed may be a light-response (which was not tested here) as previously reported for another chaparral species in that genus.

Publication Year 2005
Title Seed germination of Sierra Nevada postfire chaparral species
DOI 10.3120/0024-9637(2005)52[175:SGOSNP]2.0.CO;2
Authors Jon E. Keeley, Thomas W. McGinnis, Kim A. Bollens
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Madroño
Index ID 70176656
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Ecological Research Center