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Effects of the duration of cold stratification on early life stages of the Mediterranean alpine plant Silene ciliata

AuthorsGarcía-Fernández, Alfredo ; Escudero, Adrián; Lara-Romero, Carlos; Iriondo, José María
KeywordsCold stratification
Common garden
Local adaptation
Mountain plant
Silene ciliata
Issue Date12-Aug-2014
CitationPlant Biology 17(2) :344-350 (2014)
AbstractCold stratification provided by snow cover is essential to break seed dormancy in many alpine plant species. The forecast reduction in snow precipitation and snow cover duration in most temperate mountains as a result of global warming could threaten alpine plant populations, especially those at the edge of their species distribution, by altering the dynamics of early life stages. We simulated some effects of a reduction in the snow cover period by manipulating the duration of cold stratification in seeds of Silene ciliata, a Mediterranean alpine specialist. Seeds from three populations distributed along an altitudinal gradient were exposed to different periods of cold stratification (2, 4 and 6 months) in the laboratory and then moved to common garden conditions in a greenhouse. The duration of the cold stratification treatment and population origin significantly affected seed emergence percentage, emergence rate and seedling size, but not the number of seedling leaves. The 6-month and 4-month cold stratification treatments produced higher emergence percentages and faster emergence rates than seeds without cold stratification treatment. No significant cold stratification duration x seed population origin interactions were found, thus differential sensitivity to cold stratification along elevation is not supported.
Description7 p., tablas, gráf.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/plb.12226
Appears in Collections:(IBB) Artículos
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