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Maternal effects on growth and competitive ability in a commonly used restoration species

Permanent URL:
http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/58312
Abstract:
Maternal effects in production gardens may improve or inhibit the performance of seeds planted in large-scale restoration. In ex situ experiments, we tested seeds of the native grass Poa secunda J. Presl (Poaceae) produced by the same maternal families grown in 3 different production garden environments. We measured progeny performance for 5 variables: germination, emergence, growth, competitive tolerance, and competitive ability. Seed size was correlated with root morphology, with larger seeds producing less root volume. Larger seeds conferred better germination and higher competitive ability only in some progeny growth environments. We found that the production garden affected seed size in some maternal families more than others. Also, other effects of the production garden were uncorrelated with seed size: early plant size, final plant size, and competitive tolerance. Adaptive maternal effects were found for germination in one production environment and for early plant size in another production environment. By understanding the influence of maternal effects under field conditions, we may be able to manipulate production environments to maximize the performance and competitive ability of restoration materials.
Author(s):
Erin K. Espeland , Darcy Hammond
Subject(s):
Poa secunda , gardens , indigenous species , maternal effect , plant competition , progeny , roots , seed germination , seedling emergence , seedling growth , seeds
Source:
Native plants journal 2013 Fall v.14 no.3
Language:
English
Year:
2013
Collection:
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
File:
Download [PDF File]
Rights:
Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.