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Open AccessArticle

Thermal Requirements Underpinning Germination Allude to Risk of Species Decline from Climate Warming

Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery Centre, Western Australia 6983, Australia
Division of Ecology and Evolution, College of Science, Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia
Plants 2020, 9(6), 796;
Received: 11 May 2020 / Revised: 18 June 2020 / Accepted: 19 June 2020 / Published: 25 June 2020
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: temperature; seed germination; germination rate; degree-days; global warming temperature; seed germination; germination rate; degree-days; global warming
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cochrane, J.A. Thermal Requirements Underpinning Germination Allude to Risk of Species Decline from Climate Warming. Plants 2020, 9, 796.

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