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Recruitment limitation, germination of dust seeds, and early development of underground seedlings in six Pyroleae species
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
2013 (English)In: Botany, ISSN 1916-2790, E-ISSN 1916-2804, Vol. 91, no 1, 17-24 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We investigated recruitment of six mixotrophic Pyroleae species in relation to soil and adult presence. Pyroleae have dust seeds containing minimal nutrient reserves, and subterranean seedlings are mycoheterotrophic needing fungal hosts for germination and development. Germination and seedling development were studied by retrieving seed bags that had been placed within plots with adults present and at unoccupied control plots. There are two main alternatives to what limits recruitment of plants, seed limitation or microsite limitation. Results suggested that a combination of microsite and seed limitation was important for all investigated species. Microsite availability was the main limiting factor for Chimaphila umbellata (L.) W. P. C. Barton, Orthilia secunda (L.) House, and Pyrola chlorantha Sw., whereas seed availability was the main limiting factor for Pyrola minor L. For Moneses uniflora L. A. Gray and Pyrola rotundifolia L., it was not clear whether microsite or seed limitation dominated. Growth of seedlings responded positively to adult presence (O. secunda and P. minor), whereas others were negatively affected (M. uniflora and P. chlorantha). Increased levels of soil nutrients (N and P) had a negative effect on seedling growth in C. umbellata and P. chlorantha. These results provide the first evidence of the importance of microsite and seed limitation for germination and development of seedlings of Pyroleae species.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 91, no 1, 17-24 p.
Keyword [en]
dust seeds, microsite limitation, mixotrophy, pyroloids, seed limitation, symbiotic germination
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-88243DOI: 10.1139/cjb-2012-0153ISI: 000314837500003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-88243DiVA: diva2:611338
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Note

AuthorCount:2;

Available from: 2013-03-15 Created: 2013-03-12 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Recruitment ecology and fungal interactions in mycoheterotrophic Ericaceae
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Recruitment ecology and fungal interactions in mycoheterotrophic Ericaceae
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There are generally two contrasting alternatives to what limits recruitment in plants, namely the availability of seeds (seed limitation) or the quality or quantity of suitable sites (microsite limitation). Dust seeds, the smallest existing seeds, lack or have minimal nutrient reserves. During germination and initial development they consequently parasitize on mycorrhizal fungi. This is called mycoheterotrophy, and can vary in degree of fungal dependency in adult plants from full, partial or initial mycoheterotrophy.

The aim of this thesis was to investigate the recruitment ecology of mycoheterotrophic Ericaceae (tribe Pyroleae) species with dust seeds, and to determine what limits their recruitment. The investigated species were: Chimaphila umbellata, Moneses uniflora, Orthilia secunda, Pyrola chlorantha, P. minor and P. rotundifolia. This aim was achieved by combining field experiments (seed sowing) with isotope analysis and fungal host pyrosequencing.

Results provide evidence that the species in Pyroleae are heterogeneous, not only with regard to their degree of mycoheterotrophy, but also concerning germination and early seedling development. A combination of microsite and seed limitation is thus likely to be of importance for all studied species, but the relative importance of these limitations varies among species. Despite having adaptations for wind dispersal the majority of the seeds were deposited in close vicinity of the seed source. But with high seed production at least some seeds should be able to disperse long-distance. Seedlings of all studied species were found to associate with a wide range of ectomycorrhizal fungi, at least during their initial developmental stages. There seems to be a tendency for host narrowing in some Pyroleae species, but not as strict as the host specialization seen in fully mycoheterotrophic Monotropa hypopitys, supporting the hypothesis of geographical and developmental host shifts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University, 2014. 46 p.
Keyword
454 Pyrosequencing, Dispersal limitation, Dust seeds, Ectomycorrhiza, Ericaceae, Microsite limitation, Monotropa hypopitys, Mycoheterotroph, Pyroleae, Seed limitation, Stable isotopes, Subterranean seedling, Symbiotic germination, Tricholoma
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-109160 (URN)978-91-7649-061-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-01-30, föreläsningssalen, Institutionen för ekologi, miljö och botanik, Lilla Frescativägen 5, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: In press. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2015-01-08 Created: 2014-11-14 Last updated: 2015-01-07Bibliographically approved

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