Next Article in Journal
White Spruce Growth and Wood Properties over Multiple Time Periods in Relation to Current Tree and Stand Attributes
Previous Article in Journal
Assessing Wildfire Risk in Cultural Heritage Properties Using High Spatial and Temporal Resolution Satellite Imagery and Spatially Explicit Fire Simulations: The Case of Holy Mount Athos, Greece
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Forests 2016, 7(2), 47; doi:10.3390/f7020047

Evidence on the Adaptive Recruitment of Chinese Cork Oak (Quercus variabilis Bl.): Influence on Repeated Germination and Constraint Germination by Food-Hoarding Animals

Institute of Biodiversity and Ecology, Zhengzhou University, 100 Kexue Road, Gaoxin District, Zhengzhou, Henan Province 450001, China
Department of Basic Sciences, School of Medicine, Copperbelt University, P.O. Box 71191, Ndola 10101, Zambia
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jean-Claude Ruel and Eric J. Jokela
Received: 16 September 2015 / Revised: 7 January 2016 / Accepted: 14 February 2016 / Published: 20 February 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1539 KB, uploaded 20 February 2016]   |  


In drought temperate forest, seedling recruitment is highly dependent on seed burial by native animal dispersers. To prolong seed storage, animals often take measures to impede seed germination. Aiming to understand the strategic balance between the natural seed germination and the role played by animals in the constraint germination procedures, we investigated the stages on the germinated acorns of Chinese cork oak (Quercus variabilis Bl.) and the rodents’ behavior on the consequential delay in developmental processes of acorns in Mt. Taihangshan area of Jiyuan, Henan, China. The results showed that (1) Apodemus peninsulae Thomas excise radicles from germinated acorns before hoarding; (2) radicle-excised acorns re-germinate successfully if the excised radicle was un-lignified, but reverse if excised radicle was lignified; and (3) seedlings derived from radicle-excised acorns produce more lateral roots than that of sound acorns. We conclude that rodents take the radicle-excision behavior as a deliberate mechanism to slow the rapid germination of acorns; nevertheless, the acorns adaptively respond to this negative treatment and counteract the constraint from rodents by regermination to preserve the viability of the seeds. Consequently, this plays a significant role in forest recruitment. This study proves the new survival model of Chinese cork oak against animal predation, and will broaden theories of animal-forest interaction, forest succession and can be used as a meaningful venture to temperate forest restoration efforts. View Full-Text
Keywords: temperate forest; radicle-excision; re-germination; lignification; seedling establishment temperate forest; radicle-excision; re-germination; lignification; seedling establishment

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, Y.; Shi, Y.; Sichilima, A.M.; Zhu, M.; Lu, J. Evidence on the Adaptive Recruitment of Chinese Cork Oak (Quercus variabilis Bl.): Influence on Repeated Germination and Constraint Germination by Food-Hoarding Animals. Forests 2016, 7, 47.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Forests EISSN 1999-4907 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top