Annals of Botany

Seed dormancy cycling and mortality in Arabidopsis thaliana

The contribution of variation in seed bank dynamics to local adaptation is not well studied.

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Postma et al. investigated the extent to which genetic and environmental factors affect dormancy cycling and mortality of Arabidopsis thaliana seeds in the soil by conducting a reciprocal seed burial experiment with two locally adapted populations from Italy and Sweden. They demonstrate for the first time intraspecific genetic differentiation in the annual seed dormancy cycle of any species, which likely contributes to local adaptation. Moreover, the results indicate that the contribution of the seed bank to seedling recruitment should vary among environments because of differences in the rate of seed mortality.

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