Seed Science Research

Research Article

Large-seeded spices are less dependent on light for germination than small-seeded ones

P. Milberga1 c1, L. Anderssona2 and K. Thompsona3

a1 Department of Biology-IFM, Linkõping University, 581 83 Linkõping, Sweden

a2 Department of Ecology and Crop Production science, SLU, Box 7043, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden

a3 Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, The University, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK


Germination in light and darkness was compared after cold stratification of seeds of 54 species known or suspected to accumulate persistent seed banks. Germination became less dependent on light with increasing seed mass. This pattern was clear in a direct correlation of individual species data (P <0.0001) as well as when considering phylogenetically independent contrasts (P <0.001). The latter analysis suggests that light response and seed mass coevolved.

(Received April 16 1999)

(Accepted November 15 1999)


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