New publication: Larger seed mass predicts higher germination and emergence rates in sandy grassland species with non-dormant seeds


The lack of knowledge on the traits related to the germination and establishment of native plant species represents obstacles to restoration. Seed mass, germination and emergence variability from two characteristic grasses ( Festuca vaginata and Stipa borysthenica ), and two dicots ( Centaurea arenaria and Dianthus serotinus ) of Hungarian sandy grasslands from altogether 34 localities were tested. Our results showed that seed mass had a significant positive effect on germinability of the dicots and on seedling emergence of all species. The laboratory germination capacity of S. borysthenica was low due to dormancy. We found a significant variability among seed traits and emergence between localities in all the species except for the germination of S. borysthenica . This significant variation among populations might be explained by local adaptation or maternal effects. We conclude that germination under laboratory-regulated conditions is a good predictor of seedling emergence for restoration projects, but limited to species with non-dormant seeds.

Published by David Cevallos, Katalin Szitár, Melinda Halassy, Anna Kövendi-Jakó and Katalin Török in the journal Acta Botanica Hungarica.