Dehydration effects on seedling development of four range species
MetadataShow full item record
CitationBassiri, M., Wilson, A. M., & Grami, B. (1988). Dehydration effects on seedling development of four range species. Journal of Range Management, 41(5), 383-386.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractThe effects of temporary drought periods of semiarid regions were simulated by dehydration of germinating seeds of crested wheatgrass (Agropyron desertorum), Russian wildrye (Elymus junceus), alfalfa (Medicago sativa), and cicer milkvetch (Astragalus cicer) in 8 constant humidity environments, ranging from -10 to -220 MPa for 4 days. Combined effects of root excision and temporary dehydration at -22 to -160 MPa were also studied. Subsequent growth of seedlings was evaluated in growth performance tests under favorable soil moisture conditions. When the initial roots were killed by dehydration, survival of grasses depended on the development of seminal lateral root(s) from the scutellar nodes, and survival of legumes depended on development of a new meristem at the distal end or along the side of hypocotyl-root axis. The effect of dehydration was more drastic on the legumes than on the grasses, particularly at more severe conditions. While temporary dehydration of -59 MPa had little effect on grasses, it reduced the percent emergence of the legumes by about 70%. In the -220 MPa treatment, emergence percentages of crested wheatgrass, Russian wildrye, alfalfa, and cicer milkvetch were 59, 35, 6, and 1, respectively, and percentages of rooted seedlings were 58, 12, 3, and 1, respectively. Under combined effects of excision and dehydration at -160 MPa, emergence percentages of the 4 species were 50, 34, 14, and 0, respectively, and their root lengths decreased by 37, 42, 44, and 100%, respectively. Within species variation in tolerance of dehydration suggested opportunities to select and breed for this characteristic.