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Seed germination and seedling establishment of the monocarpic dwarf bamboo Sasa veitchii var. hirsuta

Articles

Journal/Conference:

JOURNAL OF FOREST RESEARCH

Language:

English

Author:

Shibata Shozo

Experts:

Abe Yuhei

Year:

2014

Volume:

19

Issue:

1

Pages:

166-173

Keywords:

Dwarf bamboo; Mass flowering; Sasa; Seed germination; Seedling regeneration

In order to determine the influences of environmental factors on seed germination and to identify the effects of germination characteristics on seedling establishment for Sasa veitchii var. hirsuta, germination experiments and a survey on current seedling dynamics were conducted in a natural habitat after mass flowering. The results of the germination experiments revealed that the seeds require a low-temperature environment for germination; those exposed to low-temperature conditions for a time similar to the length of winter (4 months of low-temperature conditions) germinated gradually, while those exposed for longer (> 4 months of low-temperature conditions) germinated rapidly. These results were compatible with field observations indicating that seedlings emerged from June to October in the year after mass flowering, and they suggested this germination characteristic (i.e., variation of germination timing due to seed dormancy) may play an ecological function in spreading risk (although it may also increase the potential for seed predation). The results also revealed that stronger light and alternating temperature conditions had no effect on germination, whereas high temperatures and drying had negative effects. The outcomes of the survey on current seedling dynamics revealed that the seedling establishment ratio was high in a forest understory compared to that seen at a site where solar radiation was strong and soil water content was low. This implies that germination characteristics may promote seedling establishment in forest understory.