Community-wide germination strategies in a temperate rainforest of Southern Chile: ecological and evolutionary correlates

Figueroa, JA; ARMESTO, JJ


Delayed seed germination ('dispersal in time'), as a component of a plant's germination strategy, was studied in dicotyledoneous species of a temperate rainforest flora in Chiloé Island (42°30?S), southern Chile. The objective of this investigation was to assess, for this temperate rainforest flora, what proportion of interspecific variation in the time of seed germination - measured in days since the onset of seed dispersal in space - could be attributed to the plants' historical and phylogenetic background and what proportion was associated with life history and ecological attributes such as seed mass, life form, dispersal syndromes and dispersal periods. To characterise germination times for 44 species from Chiloé forests (n = 150 seeds sowed per species in laboratory assays), we computed the mean germination time (GT), in days since sowing, for all seeds germinated of each species. Seeds were taken from the plants at the onset of dispersal and germinated in Petri dishes at 10/20°C. Considering all species, GTs varied between 3 and 385 days and presented an L-shaped frequency distribution. One-way ANOVAs measured the effects of each factor across all other variables. Two-way ANOVAs were used to assess significant interactions between factors. Multifactorial ANOVAs were used to evaluate the independent effects of each of six historical, phylogenetic and ecological factors on GT and to detect associations between factors. In one-way ANOVAs, phylogenetic grouping (at or above order) explained 12% of the variance in GT; dispersal period (summer v. mainly autumn dissemination of ripe seeds), biogeographic element (endemic, austral, neotropical or cosmopolitan) and dispersal syndrome (fleshy v. dry propagules) explained 7, 6 and 5% of the variance in GT, respectively. The factors life form (trees, shrub and woody vines combined, herbs and non-woody epiphytes) and seed mass (light v. heavy) explained the 4 and 2% of the variance in GT, respectively. Taxa related to Ranunculales presented the longest mean GT (148 days). Endozoochorous species had a more delayed germination than species with other dispersal syndromes. Herbs and non-woody epiphyte species showed mean GT (41 days) significantly shorter than trees and shrubs plus woody vines combined (86 and 85 days, respectively). All interactions in two-way ANOVAs were significant. Multifactorial ANOVAs revealed that the three major factors contributing to differences in GT in this temperate rainforest flora were phylogenetic relatedness, dispersal syndromes and life form (7, 6 and 6% of the interspecific variation, respectively). In this analysis, biogeographic element, dispersal period and seed mass were not significantly related to GT. For the factors examined, failure-time analysis, which takes into account all viable seeds not germinating in laboratory assays, confirmed results from multifactorial ANOVAs.

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Título según WOS: Community-wide germination strategies in a temperate rainforest of Southern Chile: ecological and evolutionary correlates
Título según SCOPUS: Community-wide germination strategies in a temperate rainforest of Southern Chile: Ecological and evolutionary correlates
Volumen: 49
Número: 4
Fecha de publicación: 2001
Página de inicio: 411
Página final: 425
Idioma: English