SHST - Horticulture and Forestry Society from Transylvania, 40 Years of Horticulture Education in Cluj-Napoca

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Assessing Effects of Temperature Change in Four Limonium Species from Threatened Mediterranean Salt Affected Habitats

Last modified: 2017-04-16


Evaluation of tolerance to high temperatures at germination stage is an important tool to foresee the possible effect of global warming. On the other hand, establishing germination protocols for endemic and threatened species living in extreme conditions results of great interest in restoration and management plans focused on habitat conservation. Seed germination was analyzed in four perennial species of the genus Limonium (L. santapolense, L. girardianum, L. virgatum, and L. narbonense) with different status of conservation, and growing in two saline habitats of the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. The aim of the study is to compare the responses of seed germination to temperature and to correlate these findings with the specific environmental conditions. Seeds were collected in two protected areas, Devesa del Saler (Valencia province) and Clot de Galvany (Alicante province). Seed width, length, and weight were measured. Responses to temperature were checked under a constant range, from 5° to 35 °C, at 5 °C intervals, taking into account the environmental conditions at the two sampling sites. Final germination percentage and mean germination time (MGT) were calculated after 30 days. With the purpose of comparing thermal responses, base temperature (Tb) and thermal time (S) were determined for each species. Additionally, climate and soil parameters were analyzed and correlated with the results of germination. To identify distinct behavioral groups, a nonlinear principal component analysis was performed (NLPCA) by the program CATPCA, included in the software SPSS 15.0. Significant differences were found between the four tested species in both temperature response and velocity. In all species was observed a fast response as an opportunistic germination strategy after raining episodes when salt concentration decreases. The base temperature and thermal time showed significant differences in competitiveness between species.



This abstract was accepted to be presented at the conference entitled “40 Years of Horticulture Education in Cluj-Napoca” Cluj-Napoca, September 27, 2017, being included in ‘Book of Abstracts’ of this special-anniversary event ( All accepted papers will be published in a special issue of Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca journal.