Seed Mortality in Daucus Carota Populations: Latitudinal Effects

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Elizabeth P. Lacey, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Daucus carota, a common herbaceous weed, grows over a wide latitudinal range in eastern North America. Viability and germination tests of mature seeds collected from 36° to 45°N were conducted to measure predispersal seed mortality. Viability and germination declined as latitude of the seed source decreased. Only 30-50% of the seeds from southern populations germinated owing to high embryo inviability and absence of embryos. Sixty to ninety percent of the seeds from northern populations germinated. Reciprocal planting of seeds in outdoor experimental plots at three latitudes and testing of seeds over two generations together showed that the environment in which seeds mature, rather than environmental preconditioning over generations or genetically-based differences among populations, explain this variation in germination ability. Within-latitude germination declined in experimental plots as population age of the seed source within latitudes increased. The data indicate that predispersal seed mortality can influence local population persistence and that seed mortality is an increasingly important factor in population regulation at the southern limit of the species' range.

Additional Information

American Journal of Botany 71(9): 1 175-1 182. 1984.
Language: English
Date: 1984
Seeds, Temperature, Environmental effects, Survival, Geographic influences, Weeds, Daucus carota, Wild carrots

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