Heteromorphic seeds can show differences in dormancy and germination, but it is not known how this affects maintenance and regeneration of populations. Cao et al. bury different seed morphs of an annual halophyte, Suaeda corniculata, and examine germination dynamics at monthly intervals over 2 years. They find that black seeds have an annual dormancy/non-dormancy cycle that is absent in brown seeds, and they also exhibit an annual cycle in sensitivity of germination to salinity. Brown seeds form only a transient soil seed bank whilst black seeds form a persistent one. They conclude that differences in performance of the two seed morphs in the soil seed bank increase fitness of the species in unpredictable saline environments.
Read this in your language
The Week in Botany
On Monday mornings we send out a newsletter of the links that have been catching the attention of our readers on Twitter and beyond. You can sign up to receive it below.
@BotanyOne on Mastodon
Loading Mastodon feed...