Journal of Environmental Biology
pISSN: 0254-8704 ; eISSN: 2394-0379 ; CODEN: JEBIDP
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Abstract - Issue Mar 2009, 30 (3) Back
Samara size versus dispersal and seedling establishment in
Ailanthus altissima (Miller) Swingle
J.A. Delgado*1,2, M.D. Jimenez2 and A. Gomez1
1Instituto Madrileno de Investigacion y Desarrollo Rural, Agrario y Alimentario, Finca El Encin,
A2 Km 38.200, 28800
2Department of Ecologia, C/Jose Antonio Novais 2, 28040
(Received: July 05, 2007; Revised received: December 28, 2007; Re-revised received: January 03, 2008; Accepted: February 10, 2008)
Abstract: We have specifically carried out a greenhouse experiment to assess relationship between samara weight and seed success. Relationship assessed as dispersal potential, germination level, germination rate and early seedling mass for the invasive species Ailanthus altissima. For this purpose, we considered two close stands as seeds source. We found no correlation between samara size and neither germination level, germination rate, nor seedling mass, but a positive correlation with samara projected area. These results suggest that samara weight is not directly related to germination, dispersal and invasion potential neither. Nevertheless, stands differed in the invasion potential of their samaras; one stand presented samaras with higher projected area per weight unit whereas the other one presented samaras that produced heavier seedlings. Whatever the origin, (genetic or environmental) of this differences it should be advantageous for a colonizing invader species such as A. altissima since it could imply a wider range of habitats susceptible to invasion.
Key words: Plant invader, Germination rate, Seed size, Seed viability, Seedling biomass
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