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Agriculture 2015, 5(3), 412-426;

A Modified Thermal Time Model Quantifying Germination Response to Temperature for C3 and C4 Species in Temperate Grassland

Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130012, China
Animal Science and Technology College, Jilin Agricultural University, Changchun 130118, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Cory Matthew
Received: 15 May 2015 / Revised: 26 June 2015 / Accepted: 30 June 2015 / Published: 6 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forage Plant Ecophysiology)
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Thermal-based germination models are widely used to predict germination rate and germination timing of plants. However, comparison of model parameters between large numbers of species is rare. In this study, seeds of 27 species including 12 C4 and 15 C3 species were germinated at a range of constant temperatures from 5 °C to 40 °C. We used a modified thermal time model to calculate germination parameters at suboptimal temperatures. Generally, the optimal germination temperature was higher for C4 species than for C3 species. The thermal time constant for the 50% germination percentile was significantly higher for C3 than C4 species. The thermal time constant of perennials was significantly higher than that of annuals. However, differences in base temperatures were not significant between C3 and C4, or annuals and perennial species. The relationship between germination rate and seed mass depended on plant functional type and temperature, while the base temperature and thermal time constant of C3 and C4 species exhibited no significant relationship with seed mass. The results illustrate differences in germination characteristics between C3 and C4 species. Seed mass does not affect germination parameters, plant life cycle matters, however. View Full-Text
Keywords: germination rate; base temperature; thermal time constant; seed size germination rate; base temperature; thermal time constant; seed size

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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).

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Zhang, H.; Tian, Y.; Zhou, D. A Modified Thermal Time Model Quantifying Germination Response to Temperature for C3 and C4 Species in Temperate Grassland. Agriculture 2015, 5, 412-426.

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