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The effect of high temperatures on seed germination of one native and two introduced conifers in Patagonia

  • Pelle Boberg
  • Estela Raffaele
  • Eugenia E. Chaia
  • Johanna Eneström
  • Lars Pettersson
  • Tina D'Hertefeldt
Publishing year: 2010
Language: English
Pages: 231-239
Publication/Series: Nordic Journal of Botany
Volume: 28
Issue: 2
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Board of the Nordic Journal of Botany

Abstract english

We examined the effect of thermal shock on the germination of seeds of three conifers, two introduced (Pseudotsuga menziesii and Pinus ponderosa), and one native to Patagonia (Araucaria araucana). Previous research has suggested increased susceptibility to invasions in burnt areas, and therefore, the effect of simulated fire (heat) on seed germination in these native and introduced species was compared. Seeds were heated to two different heat intensities (50 degrees C and 100 degrees C) for 1 or 5 min, which is within the temperature range reached in the upper soil layers during forest fires. Germination tests were then carried out in a growth chamber. The heat treatments had a negative effect on the germination of P. menziesii at temperatures of 100 degrees C, and a negative effect on the germination of P. ponderosa at the temperature of 100 degrees C and the exposure of 5 min. The heat treatments had no affect at all on A. araucana. The species with larger seeds (A. araucana) had higher survival rates after the thermal shocks. Also intraspecific differences in seed sizes possibly point at larger seeds surviving thermal shocks better than smaller seeds. In addition, thermal shock caused a delay in the onset of germination in the two introduced species, while it did not change the time for germination in A. araucana.


  • Ecology


  • Soil Ecology
  • ISSN: 0107-055X
Tina D'Hertefeldt
E-mail: tina [dot] dhertefeldt [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se



+46 46 222 37 75

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Soil Ecology Group


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  • SoilService

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