Relating germination requirements of timber milkvetch to seral stage in the Interior Douglas-fir zone.

Thompson, D.J. (2014). "Relating germination requirements of timber milkvetch to seral stage in the Interior Douglas-fir zone.", Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 94(4), pp. 723-726. doi : 10.4141/cjps2013-336  Access to full text

Abstract

Germination of timber milkvetch (Astragalus miser var. serotinus) seeds was studied to determine if it is an early or late seral species. Seeds were collected from a native plant population and those having a dark seed coat were selected. Germination tests were run in the light or dark and under three temperature regimes: low (constant 10°C), high (constant 25°C), and alternating (25°C day and 10°C night). Germination occurred over a protracted period with new germinants up to 90 d at the lowest temperature. Germination was not affected by light. Germination rate was greater at 25°C than 10°C, while fluctuating temperatures (25 and 10°C alternating every 12 h) reduced germination rate to that at the lower temperature. Days to 50% germination was a more sensitive indicator, with the mean for the fluctuating temperatures falling between those continuous to the high and low temperature. Final germination percentage was reduced at 10°C compared with 25°C, but not with fluctuating temperatures. Timber milkvetch seed germination did not respond to light or fluctuating temperatures, adding to a body of evidence that it is a late seral species.

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