Klemow, Kenneth M. and Dudley J. Raynal. 1982. SEED DEMOGRAPHY OF MONOCARPIC SPECIES COLONIZING A LIMESTONE QUARRY. Contributed paper: Ecological Society of America meeting. Abstract: Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 63:148.
Although much information exists regarding survivorship patterns in plant populations, less is known about fates of seeds in the soil. In this study, survival and germination rates were experimentally determined in the field over a one-year-period for seeds of four monocarpic species (Erucastrum gallicum (Willd.) O. E. Schulz, Melilotus alba Desr., Picris hieracioides L. and Echium vulgare L.) colonizing a limestone quarry near Syracuse, New York. Seedling emergence accounted for less than 20% of the original input for all species except E. vulgare which exhibited 40% emergence. The fraction of the input remaining ungerminated and viable after one year correlated with life-history; there was no year-to-year carryover for the two facultative biennial species, P. hieracioides and E. vulgare. In contrast, there was 15-40% carryover for both the annual E. gallicum and obligate biennial M. alba. This carryover is probably an important life-history attribute enabling persistence through frequent years in which no emerging individuals survive to reproduce. Persistence in the facultative biennials is achieved instead by a pool of vegetative rosettes.