• Predicting variable temperature response of non-dormant seeds from constant-temperature germination data

      Hardegree, S. P.; Van Vactor, S. S.; Pierson, F. B.; Palmquist, D. E. (Society for Range Management, 1999-01-01)
      The objective of many laboratory-germination experiments is to develop insight into the process of field establishment. It is relatively difficult, however, to infer potential field response from laboratory data given the enormous spatial and temporal variability in seedbed microclimate. Previous studies have attempted to survey large numbers of alternating day/night temperature regimes in order to estimate germination response to potential conditions of field microclimate. The objectives of this study were to estimate the errors associated with prediction of variable-temperature germination response from fewer, constant-temperature germination data. Non-dormant seeds of thickspike wheatgrass [Elymus lanceolatus (Scribn. and J.G. Smith) Gould], bluebunch wheatgrass [Pseudoroegneria spicata (Pursh) Love], Sandberg bluegrass (Poa sandbergii Vasey), and bottlebrush squirreltail [Elymus elymoides (Raf.) Swezey] were germinated under constant, alternating-constant and sine-wave temperature regimes. Predicted and measured cumulative-germination response generally coincided to within a day for most temperature treatments except for the most slowly germinating subpopulations of seeds. Thermal response models can be parameterized from relatively few experimental data but provide predictive inferences relevant to a wide number of variable-temperature conditions.