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Charophyte germination and establishment under low irradiance
de Winton, M.D.; Casanova, M.T.; Clayton, J.S. (2004). Charophyte germination and establishment under low irradiance. Aquat. Bot. 79(2): 175-187. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aquabot.2004.01.013
In: Aquatic Botany. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0304-3770, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Establishment; Germination; Light; Turbidity; Fresh water

Authors  Top 
  • de Winton, M.D.
  • Casanova, M.T.
  • Clayton, J.S.

Abstract
    Charophyte establishment from oospores in lake sediment was measured under nine light regimes (range <0.01-7.4 mol photons PAR m−2 d−1) in two short-term experiments (13-20 weeks). Natural light was modified by inorganic turbidity in Experiment 1 and controlled artificial light was used in Experiment 2. Germling response was dominated by Chara australis Brown or Chara globularis Thuill. Germling number was not significantly affected by the light regimes and germination occurred under <0.5 µmol photons PAR m−2 s−1 (‘Dark’ treatment). A three-fold range in PAR (1.7−5.2 mol photons m−2 d−1) had less influence on the final germling number than pre-drying sediment, which increased germlings ca. 1.5- to 3-fold. Drying lake sediment could be used as a management tool to stimulate charophyte germination. Light influenced germling biomass, with negligible gain at ≤0.4 mol photons PAR m−2 d−1 and biomass accrual with light ≥1.7 mol photons PAR m−2 d−1. Germination at an irradiance insufficient to sustain germling growth suggests that this may be an important loss for oospore banks under unfavourable light conditions and might be an adaptation to germination within the soil profile. The results of these experiments indicate that for these species, light is required for establishment rather than germination.

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