Effects of plant derived smoke solutions on seed germination of forages
The effects of aqueous plant-derived smoke solutions on the germination of 10 native and tame forages were tested under laboratory conditions. Smoke solutions were produced by slowly burning wheat straw or prairie hay and bubbling the smoke generated through distilled water. Smoke dilution alone had a neutral effect on the germination of Astralagus cicer when compared to the control ,but it reduced germination of Trifolium ambiguum.Smoke dilution interacted with light on the germination of Elymus angustus, Stipa comata, Festuca hallii, Stipa viridula, Dactylis glomerata, Agropyron dasystachyum, and Agropyron smithii. Smoke dilution also interacted with temperature to affect germination in Festuca hallii, Stipa viridula, Dactylis glomerata, Elymus junceus, Agropyron dasystachyum, and Agropyron smithii. The interaction of temperature and light suggests that smoke may stimulate germination in dormant seeds over a wide range of temperatures and light conditions. Exposing seeds to smoke solutions either partially or fully substituted a light requirement for dormancy breaking in four species and three species respectively. The observed responses in germination provides a better understanding of fire ecology and the role it could play in shaping the structure, composition and restoration of prairies and degraded habitats.
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