Seed Behavior in Soil

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Ecology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 August 2019) | Viewed by 20661

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment (DAFNAE), University of Padova, Viale dell’Università 16, 35020 Legnaro, Italy
Interests: seed biology; seed germination; seed dormancy; soil seedbank; seed persistence; seedling emergence and early growth; plant phenology
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Guest Editor
National Institute for Amazonian Researches - INPA Biodiversity Coordination, P.O. Box 2223, Manaus, ​AM, Brazil
Interests: forest seeds; seed storage; oxidative stress; seed germination; seed testing; seed biology; seed/plant ecology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Seeds play a fundamental role in determining the composition and diversity of plant communities in natural and human-disturbed ecosystems. Knowing the fate of seeds in soil at biological, spatial, or temporal levels is key to understanding plant population dynamics. How seeds act in soil depend on many factors related to species-specific characteristics and requirements, and their interaction with the physical and chemical properties of the soil environment. Seeds remain in soil from dispersion until seedling establishment, and their behavior during this period is of strategic importance for species survival.

An interdisciplinary approach involving researchers from different fields related to plants, soil, ecology, physiology and modelling should expand our understanding of seed fate in soil and, consequently, on the success of a given floral community’s composition in natural and anthropogenic ecosystems.

Despite the considerable advances in our knowledge of seed fate in the environment, many aspects remain unexplored. The aim of this Special Issue is to bring together papers that attempt to answer questions relating in particular to: (1) seed dynamics in soil; (2) seed persistence and pathogens and predation; (3) seed bank ecology; (4) dormancy, germination and emergence; and (5) seed response to particular environmental conditions (fire, floods, droughts, extreme weather events, etc.).

Prof. Dr. Roberta Masin
Dr. Geângelo Petene Calvi
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Seed bank dynamics
  • Seed longevity
  • Dormancy
  • Germination and emergence
  • Seed predation and microbial degradation
  • Environmental respons

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 2357 KiB  
Article
Seedling Emergence from Seed Banks in Ludwigia hexapetala-Invaded Wetlands: Implications for Restoration
by Brenda J. Grewell, Morgane B. Gillard, Caryn J. Futrell and Jesús M. Castillo
Plants 2019, 8(11), 451; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110451 - 25 Oct 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4150
Abstract
Soil seed banks play a critical role in the maintenance of wetland plant communities and contribute to revegetation following disturbances. Analysis of the seed bank can therefore inform restoration planning and management. Emergence from seed banks may vary in response to hydrologic conditions [...] Read more.
Soil seed banks play a critical role in the maintenance of wetland plant communities and contribute to revegetation following disturbances. Analysis of the seed bank can therefore inform restoration planning and management. Emergence from seed banks may vary in response to hydrologic conditions and sediment disturbances. To assess the community-level impact of exotic Ludwigia hexapetala on soil seed banks, we compared differences in species composition of standing vegetation among invaded and non-invaded wetlands and the degree of similarity between vegetation and soil seed banks in northern California. To determine potential seed bank recruitment of L. hexapetala and associated plant species, we conducted a seedling emergence assay in response to inundation regime (drawdown vs. flooded) and sediment depth (surface vs. buried). Plant species richness, evenness, and Shannon’s H’ diversity were substantially lower in standing vegetation at L. hexapetala invaded sites as compared to non-invaded sites. Over 12 months, 69 plant taxa germinated from the seed banks, including L. hexapetala and several other exotic taxa. Seedling density varied among sites, being the highest (10,500 seedlings m−2) in surface sediments from non-invaded sites subjected to drawdown treatments. These results signal the need for invasive plant management strategies to deplete undesirable seed banks for restoration success. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seed Behavior in Soil)
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15 pages, 2420 KiB  
Article
Differential Effects of Increasing Salinity on Germination and Seedling Growth of Native and Exotic Invasive Cordgrasses
by María Dolores Infante-Izquierdo, Jesús M. Castillo, Brenda J. Grewell, F. Javier J. Nieva and Adolfo F. Muñoz-Rodríguez
Plants 2019, 8(10), 372; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8100372 - 25 Sep 2019
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3114
Abstract
Soil salinity is a key environmental factor influencing germination and seedling establishment in salt marshes. Global warming and sea level rise are changing estuarine salinity, and may modify the colonization ability of halophytes. We evaluated the effects of increasing salinity on germination and [...] Read more.
Soil salinity is a key environmental factor influencing germination and seedling establishment in salt marshes. Global warming and sea level rise are changing estuarine salinity, and may modify the colonization ability of halophytes. We evaluated the effects of increasing salinity on germination and seedling growth of native Spartina maritima and invasive S. densiflora from wetlands of the Odiel-Tinto Estuary. Responses were assessed following salinity exposure from fresh water to hypersaline conditions and germination recovery of non-germinated seeds when transferred to fresh water. The germination of both species was inhibited and delayed at high salinities, while pre-exposure to salinity accelerated the speed of germination in recovery assays compared to non-pre-exposed seeds. S. densiflora was more tolerant of salinity at germination than S. maritima. S. densiflora was able to germinate at hypersalinity and its germination percentage decreased at higher salinities compared to S. maritima. In contrast, S. maritima showed higher salinity tolerance in relation to seedling growth. Contrasting results were observed with differences in the tidal elevation of populations. Our results suggest S. maritima is a specialist species with respect to salinity, while S. densiflora is a generalist capable of germination of growth under suboptimal conditions. Invasive S. densiflora has greater capacity than native S. maritima to establish from seed with continued climate change and sea level rise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seed Behavior in Soil)
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10 pages, 3727 KiB  
Article
Effects of Temperature on Seed Germination of Plantago lanceolata and Management in Carya illinoinensis Production
by Timothy L. Grey, Kayla M. Eason, Lenny Wells and Nicholas T. Basinger
Plants 2019, 8(9), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090308 - 28 Aug 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3396
Abstract
Plantago lanceolata L. (buckhorn plantain) is an encroaching winter weed described as one of the most successful noncultivated colonizing species around the world. Control of P. lanceolata in southeastern USA Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch production has not been studied, nor has the [...] Read more.
Plantago lanceolata L. (buckhorn plantain) is an encroaching winter weed described as one of the most successful noncultivated colonizing species around the world. Control of P. lanceolata in southeastern USA Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch production has not been studied, nor has the role of temperature on germination using a thermal gradient table. Seed of P. lanceolata collected from a Georgia C. illinoinensis grove were tested for the effects of temperature over time to establish differences in effects on germination using a thermal gradient table. Temperatures ranged from 13.5 to 30.5 °C for 288 h. Cumulative P. lanceolata seed germination was 66% occurring at 17.8 °C at 242 h. Over the 288 h experiment, maximum P. lanceolata germination was 27% occurring at 17.0 °C, 187 h after initiation. Control of P. lanceolata with residual herbicides, or in combination with 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) was evaluated in the interrow of C. illinoinensis groves containing Trifolium repens L., and in greenhouse experiments. Pre- and post-emergent herbicides included indaziflam, halosulfuron-methyl, and simazine applied alone, or in combination with 2,4-D in late autumn after P. lanceolata emergence in a C. illinoinensis grove. Indaziflam in combination with 2,4-D controlled P. lanceolata greater than 90% when applied in C. illinoinensis groves and greenhouse experiments. Halosulfuron-methyl and simazine applied alone, or in combination with 2,4-D, provided 67% or less P. lanceolata control in the grove experiments, and 83% or less in greenhouse experiments. Results suggested that herbicide applications should be made during the time when diurnal temperatures are between 15 and 30 °C, while abiding pre-harvest interval restrictions. Post- and pre-emergent herbicides may aid in controlling emerged weeds and reducing further weed emergence during the autumn of that year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seed Behavior in Soil)
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20 pages, 3248 KiB  
Article
Seed Germination in Cistus ladanifer: Heat Shock, Physical Dormancy, Soil Temperatures and Significance to Natural Regeneration
by Luís Silva Dias, Isabel Pires Pereira and Alexandra Soveral Dias
Plants 2019, 8(3), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8030063 - 12 Mar 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4616
Abstract
Seeds of Cistus ladanifer experience bursts of germination following fires. The effects of heat shock from 10 °C to 150 °C on seed germination were investigated by final germination plus the number of days required for germination to start and finish, and symmetry [...] Read more.
Seeds of Cistus ladanifer experience bursts of germination following fires. The effects of heat shock from 10 °C to 150 °C on seed germination were investigated by final germination plus the number of days required for germination to start and finish, and symmetry of cumulative germination. The occurrence of physical dormancy in C. ladanifer seeds was investigated by a variety of methods, including imbibition, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and light microscopy, and use of dyes. The significance of responses of C. ladanifer seeds to fires was investigated essentially by abstracting existing literature and by using fire effects models and simulations. Parameters of germination were variously affected by heat treatments—positively in the range 80–100 °C, negatively above 130 °C. Non-dormancy was consistently found in about 30% of seeds but no evidence was obtained to support the existence of physical dormancy in the dormant fraction of C. ladanifer seeds. Two complementary processes seem to be in place in seeds response to fire. A direct fire-driven increase in germination of virtually all seeds in response to the appropriate heat load produced by fire or, in the absence of such heat loads, the germination of the non-dormant fraction provided that above-ground vegetation burns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seed Behavior in Soil)
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11 pages, 962 KiB  
Article
Soil Physics Involvement in the Germination Ecology of Buried Weed Seeds
by Stefano Benvenuti and Marco Mazzoncini
Plants 2019, 8(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8010007 - 29 Dec 2018
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4596
Abstract
Trials were performed to test the germination ecology of buried weed seeds as a function of physical soil conditions such as of burial depth, texture, and compaction. Indeed, these ecological conditions, due to the adopted agronomic practices, play a crucial role in modulating [...] Read more.
Trials were performed to test the germination ecology of buried weed seeds as a function of physical soil conditions such as of burial depth, texture, and compaction. Indeed, these ecological conditions, due to the adopted agronomic practices, play a crucial role in modulating the seed bank germination dynamics. Experiments were carried out in open fields in confined soils (polypropylene pipes), and in the laboratory in Petri dishes. Sowing depth strongly inhibited the seed germination of the three weed species selected. This inhibition was found to be inversely proportional to the size of the soil particles. Compaction strongly increased the depth-mediated inhibition, especially in soils that were rich in clay particles, and was inversely proportional to the seed size. The physiological nature of the dormancy imposed by burial was investigated. In addition, ungerminated seeds, re-exhumed after deep-sowing for six months, were found to be in deep dormancy, especially after burial in compacted clay soil. This dormancy induction was more pronounced in weed species characterized by small seeds. Critical issues are discussed regarding weed seed bank ecophysiology and their management in sustainable agricultural cropping systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seed Behavior in Soil)
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