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Part XIV : Seasonal Influences on Plant Populations Index

How the Plant populations in the Biosphere Change from One Season to the Next
How Plants Survive Winter
Other Ways of Surviving Winter
Laboratory work relating to this chapter

Topic Chapters Index

 

More information on how plants survive the Winter from other sections of the ODWS

These hyperlinks will open a new tab or window.

 

 

SEASONAL INFLUENCES ON PLANT POPULATIONS

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In the Spring: Germination

A seed can remain dormant for days, weeks, months, and sometimes years depending on what type of plant it is from. That is one reason it is so well adapted for plant dispersal. When it begins to "wake up" and starts to grow into a plant, it is said to germinate. To survive winter and germinate in the spring, a seed needs to remain dormant for a few months. As the table below shows, some plant seeds can even survive longer.

 

Plant

Maximum Age of Seeds in Years

Dandelion 6
Plantain 10
Red clover 100
Mimosa 221
Arctic Lupin 10000

 

When the time is right, the seed will become active and grow a shoot from its plumule and the beginning of a root from its radicle. This process is called germination.

The hyperlinks shown to the left are to pages on seed germination.

 

When does the seed "decide" to start growing into a plant?
What environmental factors cause the seed to begin to germinate?

The experiments on seed structure and germination will provide answers to these questions.

 

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