Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Seed germination in response to diurnal fluctuations of temperature

Abstract

DIURNAL fluctuations in temperature may initiate or accelerate germination in certain flowering plants1–6, and the effectiveness of the stimulus varies according to the amplitude of fluctuation7 and the presence or absence of light8. Attempts3,6 to assess the adaptive significance of the phenomenon, however, have been limited by the scarcity of data for species of contrasted ecology. We report here an investigation of germination responses to fluctuating temperatures, conducted on seeds of herbaceous species collected from native populations near Sheffield. The results suggest that requirements for diurnal fluctuations in temperature are characteristic of the germination of species from particular types of habitat and provide mechanisms which cause seeds to germinate at times and in places favourable for seedling establishment.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Morinaga, T. Am. J. Bot. 13, 141–158 (1926).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Warington, K. J. Ecol. 24, 185–204 (1936).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Cavers, P. B. & Harper, J. L. J. Ecol. 54, 307–382 (1966).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Thompson, P. A. J. exp. Bot. 20, 1–11 (1968).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Thompson, P. A. J. exp. Bot. 25, 156–163 (1974).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Thompson, P. A. J. exp. Bot. 26, 164–175 (1974).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Grime, J. P. & Thompson, K. Ann. Bot. 40, 795–799 (1976).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Toole, V. K. & Borthwick, H. A. J. Am. Soc. Hort. Sci. 93(3), 301–304 (1971).

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Haldall, P. & French, C. S. Pl. Physiol. 33, 249–252 (1958).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Clapham, A. R., Tutin, T. G. & Warburg, E. F., 2nd ed. Flora of the British Isles (1962).

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    Kershaw, K. A. J. Ecol. 46, 571–592 (1958).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Milnethorpe, F. L. Mechanisms in Biological Competition 342 (Cambridge University Press, 1961).

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    Rorison, I. H. J. Ecol. 48, 585–599 (1960).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Wardle, P. J. Ecol. 47, 483–497 (1959).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    Champness, S. S. & Morris, K. J. Ecol. 36, 149–173 (1948).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    Chippendale, H. G. & Milton, W. E. J. J. Ecol. 22, 508–531 (1934).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17

    Roberts, H. A. Rep. natn. Veg. Res. Stn. 25–38 (1969).

  18. 18

    Sarukhan, J. J. Ecol. 62, 151–177 (1974).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19

    Strickler, G. S. & Edgerton, P. J. Ecology 57, 801–807 (1976).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20

    Wesson, G. & Wareing, P. F. J. exp. Bot. 20, 402–413 (1969).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

THOMPSON, K., GRIME, J. & MASON, G. Seed germination in response to diurnal fluctuations of temperature. Nature 267, 147–149 (1977). https://doi.org/10.1038/267147a0

Download citation

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing