Fire-related cues significantly promote seed germination of some salt-tolerant species from non-fire-prone saline-alkaline grasslands in Northeast China
Seed germination in response to fire-related cues has been widely studied in species from fire-prone ecosystems. However, the germination characteristics of species from non-fire-prone ecosystems, such as the saline-alkaline grassland, where fire occasionally occurs accidentally or is used as a management tool, have been less studied. Here, we investigate the effects of different types of fire cues (i.e., heat and smoke water) and their combined effect on the seed germination of 12 species from the saline-alkaline grassland. The results demonstrated that heat shock significantly increased the germination percentage of Suaeda glauca and Kochia scoparia var. sieversiana seeds. Smoke water significantly increased the germination percentage of Setaria viridis and K. scoparia seeds. However, compared with single fire cue treatments, the combined treatment neither promoted nor inhibited seed germination significantly in most species. These results suggest that fire cues can be used as germination enhancement tools for vegetation restoration and biodiversity protection of the saline-alkaline grassland.
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Natural Science Foundation of Jilin Province