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Seed size and capitulum position drive germination and dormancy responses to projected warming for the threatened dune endemic Cirsium pitcheri (Asteraceae)

Citation

Gijsman, Finote; Vitt, Pati (2021), Seed size and capitulum position drive germination and dormancy responses to projected warming for the threatened dune endemic Cirsium pitcheri (Asteraceae), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.xksn02vdw

Abstract

Among coastal plant species at risk from rapid environmental changes is the North American Great Lakes dune endemic Cirsium pitcheri. Despite being listed as federally threatened, little is known about how C. pitcheri seed attributes influence germination and dormancy-break patterns in the context of climate change. Following a previous work where we found differences in the number and weight of C. pitcheri seeds among capitulum positions and study sites, here we examine the effects of seed attributes (capitulum position, seed weight and site of origin) on the proportion and timing of C. pitcheri seed germination under temperature treatments that simulate projected warming in the Great Lakes (20/10°C, 25/10°C and 30/10°C day/night). Our results demonstrate that C. pitcheri produces diverse cohorts of seeds with seed attributes that significantly influence the timing and probability of germination over a three-year soil seed bank. C. pitcheri seed germination proportions were highest at 20°C and decreased successively at 25°C and 30°C. Seeds from terminal capitula had higher germination proportions and took longer to germinate than those from secondary capitula. The effect of seed weight on germination probability also depended on site of origin and capitulum position, with all effects varying in size and significance over time. Our results highlight the considerable differences in germination patterns exhibited by seeds from different capitulum positions and sites of origin and provide insight into the dormancy-break patterns that C. pitcheri might experience under the predicted temperature rise in the Great Lakes region of North America.

Funding

Northwestern University

Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University