Intraspecific variation of seed floating ability in Sparganium emersum suggests a bimodal dispersal strategy

B.J.A. Pollux*, E. Verbruggen, J.M. Van Groenendael, N.J. Ouborg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Water-mediated spread of seeds (hydrochory) plays an important role in the dispersal of aquatic plants. In this study we investigate intraspecific variation in floating ability and germination capacity of Sparganium emersum seeds in relation to seed mass, within three natural populations along the Rur River (the Netherlands-Germany). Our results suggest that S. emersum produces two types of seeds: (i) short-floating seeds (SFS) that sink within 4 weeks (approximately 71% of all seeds), and (ii) long-floating seeds (LFS) that float at least for 6 months (approximately 28% of all seeds). Our study further shows that short-floating seeds display a significantly higher germination (%) (SFS = 89.9% vs LFS = 32.6%), a faster germination rate (SFS = 8.71 ± 3.3 vs LFS = 9.32 ± 3.1 days to germination) and a higher mean seed mass (SFS = 15.17 ± 4.5 vs LFS = 11.25 ± 3.8 mg), compared to long-floating seeds. It is argued that the production of these two types of seeds by S. emersum plants, each type with a different potential for water-mediated dispersal, represents a bimodal hydrochoric dispersal strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-203
Number of pages5
JournalAquatic Botany
Volume90
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Buoyancy
  • Cryptic seed heteromorphism
  • Germination
  • Hydrochory
  • Long-distance dispersal
  • Seed mass

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Intraspecific variation of seed floating ability in Sparganium emersum suggests a bimodal dispersal strategy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this