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BIOBIOT-Biologi, bioteknologi, Mat. Nat.

The effect of climate on seed renegation strategies: Population-scale experimental tests on four Veronica species

Tildelt: kr 1,5 mill.

Seeds and seedlings are vulnerable stages in the life cycles of plants, and we expect strong fitness consequences of environmental variability on these stages. Climate has a major influence on vegetation, and in species with wide geographical or altitudin al distributions, the factors and processes controlling seedling mortality risk are unlikely to be constant throughout the range. In Part 1 I quantify variation in seed dormancy levels along climatic gradients in Norway. Two hypotheses about climate effec ts on germination are tested, namely that dormancy levels should increase (1) with the severity or (2) with the unpredictability of winter climate. While phytotron screening has the advantage of being efficient and enabli ng precise quantification and eva luation of between-population differences, it has the disadvantage of providing relatively unrealistic estimates of field behaviour. In Part 2 a reciprocal seed burial experiment is performed along an altitudinal gradient. Here I test the effect of differ ences in (i) dormancy levels and (2) environmental conditions for seed survival for actual seed carry-over across years. Parts 1 and 2 are both replicated as several species are studied simultaneously. This enables the evaluation of differences in the rel ative magnitude of the responses in light of species biology.


BIOBIOT-Biologi, bioteknologi, Mat. Nat.


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