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Smoke-enhanced seed germination in Mediterranean Lamiaceae

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 May 2014

Şükrü Serter Çatav
Department of Biology, Mugla Sitki Koçman University, Kötekli 48000, Mugla, Turkey
Köksal Küçükakyüz
Department of Biology, Mugla Sitki Koçman University, Kötekli 48000, Mugla, Turkey
Kenan Akbaş
Department of Biology, Mugla Sitki Koçman University, Kötekli 48000, Mugla, Turkey
Çağatay Tavşanoğlu*
Fire Ecology and Seed Research Lab., Division of Ecology, Department of Biology, Hacettepe University, Beytepe 06800, Ankara, Turkey
*Correspondence Fax: +903122992028 E-mail:


The role of smoke in fire-stimulated germination in the Mediterranean Basin has often been underestimated. A few records on smoke-enhanced germination are present in Mediterranean Lamiaceae species, but there is still a shortage of information to allow generalizations about this family to be made. To test the hypothesis that smoke enhances germination in Mediterranean Lamiaceae species, we performed a germination experiment, including aqueous smoke treatments in various concentrations (1:1, 1:10 and 1:100) on seven eastern Mediterranean Lamiaceae taxa. Six of the studied taxa (Lavandula stoechas, Origanum onites, Phlomis bourgaei, Stachys cretica ssp. smyrnaea, Satureja thymbra, Teucrium lamiifolium ssp. stachyophyllum) showed significant increments in germination percentage in at least one smoke treatment, as compared to the control. Moreover, L. stoechas, S. thymbra and T. lamiifolium ssp. stachyophyllum displayed faster germination in at least one smoke treatment than in the control. Of the species showing significant increments in germination percentages after aqueous smoke application, at least one single concentration of smoke solution did not stimulate germination, except in L. stoechas and S. thymbra which responded positively to all smoke treatments. Therefore, the concentration of aqueous smoke that improved germination was species-specific. Our results contribute to the current limited knowledge on smoke-enhanced germination in Mediterranean Lamiaceae, and support the idea that smoke is an important germination cue for this family.

Research Papers
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

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