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title: Effects of High Temperature and Water Stress on Seed Germination of the Invasive Species Mexican Sunflower
author: Wen, Bin
Issued Date: 2015
Abstract: Mexican sunflower is native to Mexico and Central America and was introduced into China early last century. Now it has widely naturalized and is exhibiting increasing invasiveness in South China. As this species often dominates bare ground, a habitat characterized by extreme fluctuation in temperature and water, it is reasonable to hypothesize that it has special adaptations to high temperature and water stress. Using laboratory experiments to simulate these stresses, this study investigated the response of Mexican sunflower seed germination to temperature and water stress, and compared these responses with those previously reported for another invasive, bamboo piper, which is confined to relatively cool and moist habitats in Xishuangbanna. As expected, Mexican sunflower seeds exhibited higher tolerance to these stresses than bamboo piper. Germination of Mexican sunflower seeds was highest at 15-30 degrees C, but significant numbers of seeds germinated and formed seedlings at 10 degrees C and 35 degrees C, at which no bamboo piper seeds formed seedlings, indicating a wider temperature range for germination than the latter. Roughly half the seeds survived 240 h continuous heat treatment and up to 15 h daily periodical heat treatment at 40 degrees C, while bamboo piper seeds were mostly killed by these treatments. About 20% of Mexican sunflower but no bamboo piper seeds germinated after heat treatment for 30 min at 80 degrees C. Germination was completely inhibited in bamboo piper seeds at -0.6 mPa, while 20-60% of Mexican sunflower seeds germinated depending on PEG or NaCl as osmoticum. This higher tolerance in Mexican sunflower seeds accords with its stronger invasiveness in this area. This comparison between two plant invaders demonstrates that invasiveness is not an all-or-nothing situation, and that adaptation to local habitats is a critical determinant of successful invasiveness for an alien plant.
Source: PLOS ONE
Related URLs: 10.1371/journal.pone.0141567
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Recommended Citation:
Wen, Bin. Effects Of High Temperature And Water Stress On Seed Germination Of The Invasive Species Mexican Sunflower[J]. Plos One,2015,10(10):-.

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