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Ecological Section

Lopez, Jennifer [1], Oster, Cyrus [1], Perumal, John [2].

The Effects of Temperature and Seed Mass on the Germination of Muhlenbergia rigens from the Santa Rosa Ecological Preserve.

Muhlenbergia rigens, commonly known as deergrass, is a monocot belonging to the family Poaceae. M. rigens is a perennial bunch grass that is native to Southern California and it generally blooms between June and September. M. rigens is a drought resistant plant and it has low water demands. The seeds used in these experiments were collected in the spring of 2003 and 2004 from the Santa Rosa Ecological Preserve in Southern California. The 2003 seeds showed higher rates of germination and had greater mass than those collected in 2004. This raised the question of how seed mass affects germination which will be addressed in this study. In our preliminary experiments we observed that M. rigens exhibited varying rates of germination at different temperatures. Sixteen Petri dishes, each containing 100 seeds, were placed in different environmental conditions. Seeds that were placed at room temperature (25 degrees Celsius) had 4 percent germination. Seeds placed in a cooler environment (4 degrees Celsius) had no germination. The seeds that were placed in an environment warmer than room temperature (30 degrees Celsius) resulted in 2 percent germination. These preliminary results raised questions regarding the effects of temperature on the rates of seed germination of M. rigens, which have also been addressed in this study. Seeds are placed in environments with specific temperatures ranging from 5 to 35 degrees Celsius and germination monitored. Our research will provide further understanding of the ability of M. rigens to germinate and survive in various environments. Research on M. rigens is scanty and has primarily been in the area of fire management and fire ecology. We believe that our investigations on M. rigens will be useful in the understanding and conservation of this important perennial bunch grass.

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1 - La Sierra University, Biology, 12100 raley dr (lower), (lower), Riverside, California, 92505, USA
2 - 4500 Riverwalk Pwky, Biology Department Palmer Hall, Riverside, California, 92515, USA

bunch grass
Muhlenbergia rigens

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: 33-30
Location: Salon C, D & E - Gov Ballroom/Hilton
Date: Tuesday, August 16th, 2005
Time: 12:30 PM
Abstract ID:305

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