The storage of seeds is a commonly used means of preserving plant genetic diversity in the face of rising threats such as climate change. Here, the findings of research from the past decade into thermal requirements for germination are synthesised for more than 100 plant species from southern Western Australia. This global biodiversity hotspot is predicted to suffer major plant collapse under forecast climate change. A temperature gradient plate was used to assess the thermal requirements underpinning seed germination in both commonly occurring and geographically restricted species. The results suggest that the local climate of the seed source sites does not drive seed responses, neither is it indicative of temperatures for optimal germination. The low diurnal phase of the temperature regime provided the most significant impact on germination timing. Several species germinated optimally at mean temperatures below or close to current wet quarter temperatures, and more than 40% of species were likely to be impacted in the future, with germination occurring under supra-optimal temperature conditions. This research highlights both species vulnerability and resilience to a warming climate during the regeneration phase of the life cycle and provides vital information for those aiming to manage, conserve and restore this regional flora.
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