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Physiological Section

Orm, Jeanne [1], Rosentreter, Roger [2], Serpe, Marcelo [1].

Effect of moss-dominated biological soil crusts on seed germination of Bromus tectorum and Elymus wawawaiensis.

The effect of biological soil crusts on seed germination was investigated in two grasses, Bromus tectorum and Elymus wawawaiensis. Soil covered with biological crust predominantly composed of Ceratodon and Tortula species of mosses was collected from Kuna Butte, Idaho. Bromus tectorum or E. wawawaiensis seeds were distributed over soil covered with crusts or uncovered soil. These samples were then placed in a growth chamber (14-h photoperiod and day/night conditions of 15/10 1C) and were watered daily to keep a moist environment on the crust surface and the underlying soil. Under the experimental conditions described, the percent germination of B. tectorum was in average five-folds higher on uncovered soil than on soil covered with biological crust. Similarly, the percent germination of E. wawawaiensis was three times higher on uncovered soil than soil covered with biological crust. These results indicate that, under the conditions tested, moss-dominated biological crusts significantly reduce germination of B. tectorum and E. wawawaiensis. Presently, we are investigating the mechanisms by which the crust inhibits germination.


1 - Boise State University, Biology, 1910 University Drive, Boise, Idaho, 83725, USA
2 - USDI Bureau of Land Management, Boise, Idaho, 83709

Keywords:
seed
germination
Mosses.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: 32-64
Location: Special Event Center (Cliff Lodge)
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004
Time: 12:30 PM
Abstract ID:831


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