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Germination behavior of Sarcopoterium spinosum in response to smoke chemicals indicates adaptation to fire in the southeastern Mediterranean

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences
Authors:
Sivan Golan Institute of Plant Science, Agricultural Research Organization – Volcani Center, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel;

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Yoni Waitz Institute of Plant Science, Agricultural Research Organization – Volcani Center, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel;

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Jotham Ziffer-Berger Levinsky College of Education, 15 Shoshana Persitz st., Tel Aviv 69387, Israel;
The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel;

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Michal Barzilai Institute of Plant Science, Agricultural Research Organization – Volcani Center, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel;

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Nir Hanin Institute of Plant Science, Agricultural Research Organization – Volcani Center, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel;

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Zalmen Henkin Beef Cattle Section, Department of Agronomy and Natural Resources, Agricultural Research Organization – Newe-Ya’ar Research Center, P.O. Box 1021, Ramat Yishay 30095, Israel

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Oz Barazani Institute of Plant Science, Agricultural Research Organization – Volcani Center, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel;

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Germination behavior of the widespread southeastern Mediterranean shrub Sarcopoterium spinosum was conducted to assess its respond to post-fire cues. Germination experiments were conducted on 10 populations along a rainfall gradient – from productive, fuel-rich and fire-prone mesic Mediterranean populations, as well as from those in arid and fuel-poor environments. Our results indicate that post-fire cues induced germination of S. spinosum only among populations that originated from sites that are prone to wild fires. As wild-fires in this region occur mainly during the long dry season, but rarely ignited by natural factors, the adaptation to human made fires in natural populations of the southeastern Mediterranean environments is discussed.

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