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iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry

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Seed germination traits of Pinus heldreichii in two Greek populations and implications for conservation

Evangelia N Daskalakou (1)   , Katerina Koutsovoulou (2-3), Spyridon Oikonomidis (1-2), Costas A Thanos (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 15, Issue 4, Pages 331-338 (2022)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor4045-015
Published: Aug 24, 2022 - Copyright © 2022 SISEF

Research Articles


Seed germination traits were assessed on Pinus heldreichii H. Christ, a Tertiary relict, high-elevation Mediterranean pine, endemic in the western Balkan Peninsula and southern Italy; it is naturally grown at the northern Greece mountains, but also found in shrubby form above the timberline. Closed and mature cones were collected (October) for three consecutive years from Pindos Range and Mt. Olympus populations. Cone and seed morphological traits were recorded along with the seedling cotyledon number. Seed germination tests were performed under various ecologically meaningful temperatures and light regimes; climate change effects on seed germination and seedling development were assessed based on two climate scenarios. Final seed germination was moderate (~55%) on both, untreated seed lots at most favourable conditions (15 and 20 °C). Although cold stratification is not an absolute requirement, seed germination rate and final percentage are promoted by both a month of cold stratification (at least 30 or 45 days) and white light. The predicted climate change suggests that a prolonged drought period (>3 months) might turn out by the end of the century in the populations studied. Although the temperature increase might not have significant effects in the germination window of the species. The rainfall decrease will inevitably expose the young seedlings to the summer drought, thus increasing the potential mortality rate. Both ex situ (e.g., germplasm conservation) and in situ measures of conservation are recommended for the species survival in Greece, with a particular focus on the populations established at lower altitudes.

  Keywords


Climate Change, Cold Stratification, Cotyledon Number, Heldreich’s Pine, Light Response, Seed Ecophysiology, Seed Mass

Authors’ address

(1)
Evangelia N Daskalakou 0000-0002-5190-1023
Spyridon Oikonomidis 0000-0003-4779-6897
Institute of Mediterranean and Forest Ecosystems, Hellenic Agricultural Organization “DEMETER”, Terma Alkmanos str., 11528 Athens (Greece)
(2)
Katerina Koutsovoulou
Spyridon Oikonomidis 0000-0003-4779-6897
Costas A Thanos 0000-0001-8748-8093
Department of Botany, Faculty of Biology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis, 15784 Athens (Greece)
(3)
Katerina Koutsovoulou
Green Fund, Ministry of Environment and Energy, Villa Kazouli, Kifisias 241, 14561 Kifisia (Greece)

Corresponding author

 
Evangelia N Daskalakou
edaskalakou@fria.gr

Citation

Daskalakou EN, Koutsovoulou K, Oikonomidis S, Thanos CA (2022). Seed germination traits of Pinus heldreichii in two Greek populations and implications for conservation. iForest 15: 331-338. - doi: 10.3832/ifor4045-015

Academic Editor

Gianluca Piovesan

Paper history

Received: Dec 23, 2021
Accepted: Jun 20, 2022

First online: Aug 24, 2022
Publication Date: Aug 31, 2022
Publication Time: 2.17 months

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