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Survival Strategies of Annual Desert Plants

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Table of Contents

1 The Desert Biome, Survival Adaptations and Strategies of Annual Plant Species.- 1.1 Introduction.- 1.1.1 The Environment in Deserts and Arid Zones.- 1.1.2 Deserts with Winter or Summer Rain.- 1.1.3 Classification of Semi-Arid and Arid Zones According to the Amounts of Rain and Vegetation Zones.- 1.1.4 Annuals in Deserts and Survival Adaptations Throughout the Stages of Their Life Cycles.- 1.2 Plant Adaptation and Survival Strategies.- 1.3 The Negev Desert.- 1.3.1 Rain Amounts and Distribution.- 1.3.2 Amounts of Runoff Water After an Intense Rainfall Affected by Soil Crust, Stones and Slope Gradient.- 1.3.3 Biotic Activity, Diggings, Distribution of Runoff Water and Plant Succession.- 1.3.4 Temperatures in Winter or Summer.- 1.3.5 Temperatures, Relative Humidity and Rain Efficiency for Seed Germination.- 1.3.6 Day Length, Date of Seed Germination, Plant Development, Flowering and Plant Life Span.- 1.3.7 Dew During Winter or Summer Affecting Plant Adaptation.- 1.3.8 The Annual Environmental Factors and Life Cycle of Annual Plants.- 1.3.9 Seed Collectors.- 1.4 Conclusion.- 2 Flowering Strategies.- 2.1 Introduction.- 2.2 Flowering Adaptations and Strategies of Perennial Plants.- 2.3 Flowering Adaptations and Strategies of Selected Annual Plants.- 2.3.1 One-Seasonal Winter Annuals.- Facultative Long-Day Response for Flowering (FLD).- The Day Length Independent Response for Flowering (DIF).- Intermediates.- Single-Season Summer Annuals.- 2.3.2 Bi-seasonal Plants.- Long-day (LD) Response for Flowering.- Flowering Under Short Days and High Temperatures.- 2.4 Conclusion.- 3 Strategies of Phenotypic Plasticity of Germination During Seed Development and Maturation.- 3.1 Introduction.- 3.2 Environmental Factors Affecting Phenotypic Germination Plasticity.- 3.2.1 Seed Maturation Dates in a Natural Environment Affecting Germination.- 3.2.2 Day Length During Plant Development and Seed Maturation.- Long or Short Days Affecting Seed Coat Permeability to Water.- Day Length and Plant Age Affect Seed Plasticity of Germination.- Short-Term and Long-Term Seed Banks.- Quantitative Short-Day Effect.- Quantitative Long-Day Effect.- Day Length Effect on Short-Term and Long-Term Seed Banks.- Day Length Affects Seed Germination of Plant Species with Soft Fruit.- The Ecological Importance of the Critical Time During Seed Maturation at Which Day Length Affects Seed Germination.- 3.2.3 Influences of Light Quality During Seed Maturation on Seed Germination.- 3.2.4 Water Stress During Seed Maturation Affecting Seed Germination.- 3.2.5 Water and Temperature Stresses.- 3.2.6 Temperatures During Maturation Affecting Seed Germination.- 3.2.7 Plant Age, Seed Size and Germination Plasticity.- 3.3 Seed Position on the Mother Plant During Seed Development and Maturation Affecting Seed Germination.- 3.3.1 Seed Position in the Capsules, Pods and Fruit.- 3.3.2 The Effect of Position of Capsules or Pods in the Plant Canopy on Seed Germination.- Central or Peripheral Capsules.- 3.3.3 Position of Pods in the Upper and Lower Part of the Inflorescence.- 3.3.4 Position of the Fruits, Dimorphism and Germinability.- 3.3.5 Position, Heteromorphism and Germination.- 3.3.6 Seed Position in Inflorescences That Are Also Dispersal Units.- Position and Heteroblasty in Pteranthus dichotomus.- The Heteroblasty of the Caryopses of Synaptospermic, Lignified Dispersal Units.- The Influences of the Order of the Caryopses on Germination Percentage, Plant Development, Flowering and the Number of Tillers and Spikelets.- The Influence of the Order of the Caryopses on the Size and Germination of the Caryopses of the Following Generation.- 3.3.7 Position in Burr - a Synaptospermic Dispersal Unit.- 3.3.8 Position of Achenes in the Capitulum Whorls Affecting the Time Distribution of Dispersal and Germination (serotinas).- 3.3.9 Position Effect on Seed Germinability and Seedling Survival of Female and Hermaphrodite Flowers in Inflorescences.- 3.3.10 Position of Achenes in Umbels Affecting Germinability.- 3.3.11 Position of Aerial and Subterranean Inflorescences Affecting Dispersability and Germinability.- 3.4 Desiccation Tolerance of Maturing Seeds.- 3.5 Conclusion.- 4 Strategies of Phenotypic Plasticity of Germination: Dormancy After Seed Maturation.- 4.1 Introduction.- 4.2 Post Maturation Environmental Influences on Dry Seed Primary Dormancy (After-Ripening).- 4.2.1 Hordeum spontaneum.- 4.2.2 Schismus arabicus.- 4.2.3 Stipa capensis.- 4.2.4 Ammochloa palaestina.- 4.2.5 Plantago coronopus.- 4.2.6 Spergularia diandra.- 4.3 Periods of Storage of Dry Seeds at High Temperatures Affecting Primary Dormancy in Seeds of Different Plant Species.- 4.3.1 Short Periods of Dry Seed Storage at High Temperatures Increases Germination.- 4.3.2 Long Periods of Dry Seed Storage at High Temperatures.- Portulaca oleracea.- Hirschfeldia incana.- 4.3.3 "Bet Hedging" Germination.- Asteriscus hierochunticus.- Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum.- 4.4 Post Maturation Phenotypic Germination Plasticity of Hard Seeds.- 4.4.1 Day Length During Seed Maturation Affecting Hard Seeds.- 4.4.2 Temperature Amplitude During Summer Affecting Hard Seeds.- 4.4.3 Gradual or Sudden Increase of Relative Humidity Affecting Hard Seeds.- 4.4.4 Low Relative Humidity Affecting Seed Germination.- 4.5 Post-Maturation Supra-optimal Temperatures Affecting Germination of Wet Seeds, and Thermodormancy.- 4.5.1 Lactuca serriola.- 4.5.2 Lactuca sativa.- 4.5.3 Cheiridopsis.- 4.6 Conclusion.- 5 Seed Dispersal Adaptations and Strategies.- 5.1 Seed Consumption, Plant Adaptations and Strategies of Seed Dispersal.- 5.2 One-Season Winter Annuals and Seed Dispersal Seasons.- 5.2.1 Dispersal of Lignified, Synaptospermic, Multi-Seeded Dispersal Units at the End of the Season with Rains.- 5.2.2 Entangled Lignified Dispersal Units.- 5.2.3 Dry Unopened, Lignified Pod as a Dispersal Unit.- Multi-Seeded Dispersal Unit.- Single-Seeded Lignified Sections of a Pod.- 5.2.4 Lignified Aerial Seed Banks with Delayed Seed Dispersal by Rain (Serotinous and Hygriescence).- Dispersal by Rain of Aerial Protected Non-mucilaginous Seeds that `Escape' into the Soil Seed Bank.- Aerial Lignified Seed Banks with Mucilaginous Seeds, Seed Dispersal by Rain During the Season or Seasons Following Maturation.- Shooting of Seeds to a Distance from the Mother Plant Triggered by Rain or Flood Water.- Seeds Released by Rain and Dispersed by Wind.- 5.2.5 Subterranean Lignified, Protected Seed Banks, Germination in Situ.- 5.2.6 Escape Dispersal Adaptations and Strategies of Tiny Seeds.- Tiny, Dust-Like Seeds.- Dispersal by Wind of Small Seeds with Pappus or Corolla.- Dispersal by Wind and Boring Hydrochastic Mechanisms.- Dispersal by Wind of Mucilaginous Seeds During the Dry Season.- Dispersal by Wind of Polymorphic Mucilaginous and Non-mucilaginous Achenes.- Delayed Seed Dispersal and Ballistic Dispersal by Wind.- Seed Dispersal from Exploding Hygrochastic Pods Under Dry Conditions.- Delayed Achene Maturation to the Season with Rain and Dispersal by Wind.- 5.3 Bi-seasonal Annuals and Seed Dispersal by Wind.- 5.3.1 Winged Diaspores Matured Shortly Before the Season with Rains 207.- 5.3.2 Achenes Matured and Dispersed Daily in Small Portions During the Summer.- 5.4 Conclusion.- 6 Germination Adaptations, Strategies and Influences on Germination During Seed Wetting.- 6.1 Introduction.- 6.1.1 "Bet Hedging" Germination Strategies.- 6.1.2 Germination Strategies in Deserts with Winter and Summer Rains.- 6.1.3 Germination Strategies of Seasonal Genotypes.- 6.2 Fitness to Habitats and Range of Temperatures for Germination of some Plants Occurring in the Negev.- 6.2.1 Geophytes: Temperature for Germination and Habitat Location.- 6.2.2 Adaptation to Temperatures and Salinity in Germination of Two Plants Occurring on Opposite-Facing Slopes of One Hill, in the Negev Desert Highlands.- Medicago laciniata var. laciniata and M.laciniata var. brachycantha.- Helianthemum vesicarium and H. ventosum.- 6.2.3 Germination Adaptations of Local Genotypes at Different Elevations.- 6.2.4 Local Genotypes According to Environmental Factors.- 6.2.5 Exposure of Wet Seeds to Supra-optimal Temperatures and the Imposition of Secondary Dormancy According to Location in the Soil or in Depressions.- 6.2.6 Repair Mechanisms by Short Periods of Wetting, and Seed Germination.- 6.2.7 Environmental Factors Affecting the Phenotypic Plasticity of Germination.- 6.2.8 Germination and the Minimum Amount of Precipitation required.- 6.3 Environmental Factors During Seed Wetting and Germination During the Season with Rain.- 6.3.1 Amounts of Rain, Cautious or Opportunistic Germination Strategies of Low or High Risk, Slow or Fast Germinating Seeds.- Plants with Cautious Strategies of Seed Germination.- Plants with Opportunistic Strategies of Seed Germination.- 6.3.2 Speed of Germination.- Strategies of Rapidly Germinating Seeds.- Strategies of Slowly Germinating Seeds.- The Presence of Germination Inhibitors as"Rain Gauges".- 6.3.3 Species with Mucilaginous Seeds (Myxospermy) as an Adaptation and Part of the Complementary Sets of Survival Strategies.- Mucilaginous Seeds That Are Dispersed by Rain.- Mucilaginous Seeds That Are Dispersed During the Dry Summer.- Mucilaginous and Light-Sensitive Seeds.- Mucilaginous Seeds on the Soil Surface and Water Conditions Required for Germination.- Mucilaginous Seeds Dispersed by Adhering to Mammals and Birds.- Dispersal of Mucilaginous Seeds in Edible Fruit (Endozoochory).- 6.3.4 Germination Under Mild Winter Temperatures and High Daytime Relative Humidity Compared with High Summer Temperatures and Low Daytime Relative Humidity.- The Amount of Rain in Mild Winter Temperatures and High Relative Humidity Affecting Seed Germination in a Natural Desert Area near Avdat.- Amounts of Water in Summer Required for Germination at High Temperatures and Low Relative Humidity.- 6.3.5 Range of Temperatures for Germination in Light or Dark.- Schismus arabicus.- Spergularia diandra.- Plantago coronopus.- 6.3.6 Seed Location on the Soil or in the Soil Seed Bank Affecting Seed Germination, and Soil Turnover Influences.- Seeds on the Soil Surface.- Seeds Buried in the Soil.- 6.3.7 Thermodormancy of Winter Germinating Plant Species.- 6.3.8 Light During Seed Wetting and Germination.- Seed Location in Soil and Germination Regulation by Light.- Influences of the Visible Light Spectrum on Seed Germination.- 6.3.9 Germination Regulation by Soil Inhibitors.- 6.4 Conclusion.- 7 Embryo and Seedling Survival and Plant Development.- 7.1 Introduction.- 7.1.1 Embryo Drought Resistance.- 7.1.2 Seedling Drought Resistance.- 7.2 Seedling Drought Tolerance and Survival.- 7.2.1 Hordeum spontaneum Effects of Seedling Developmental Stages and Local Genotypes.- 7.2.2 Schismus arabicus.- Effects of Seedling Developmental Stages and Caryopsis Size.- Duration of Dry Storage Affecting Seedling Survival and Genotypic Differences.- Size Groups of Caryopses and Re-growth of Seedlings After Rehydration.- Seedling Regrowth After 48 h Affected by Caryopsis Size.- 7.3 Amounts of Water Affecting Seedling Survival.- 7.3.1 Irrigation Affecting Seedling Density and Survival.- Different Amounts of Water Affects Seedling Emergence and Survival.- Water Distribution Affects Seedling Emergence and Survival.- Seedling Emergence and Survival After Single Irrigations with Different Amounts of Water.- Seedling Survival After Irrigation with 10 mm of Water on 9 to 20 days.- Survival of Three Main Species According to Different Apportioning of the 200 mm of Water.- The Number of Seeds (Schizocarps) Produced by Malva aegyptia as Influenced by Irrigation in Summer.- 7.3.2 The Amount of Precipitation in Winter Affecting Seedling Emergence and Survival.- Schismus arabicus.- Gymnarrhena micrantha.- 7.3.3 Inter-Specific and Intra-Specific Competition and Survival.- 7.4 Conclusion.- 8 Summary of the Complementary Sets of Survival Strategies of Some Common Species of the Negev Desert That Have Been Studied in Detail.- 8.1 Introduction.- 8.2 The Complementary Sets of Adaptation and Survival Strategies.- 8.2.1 Schismus arabicus.- Flowering Facultative Long-Day Response.- Influences During and After Maturation on Phenotypic Plasticity of Germination.- Escape Seed Dispersal Strategies.- Opportunistic Germination Strategies in Mild Winters and Cautious Germination Strategies in Hot Summers.- Seedling Drought Tolerance.- 8.2.2 Spergularia diandra.- Flowering.- Phenotypic Plasticity of Germination by Day Length, and Seed Position Effect, During Seed Development and Maturation.- Genotypes and Seed Dispersability.- The Opportunistic Strategy of Seed Germination.- Light, Temperatures and Germination.- Dry Storage Duration and Seed Germinability.- Germination in Summer.- Soil Turnover.- Time of Rainfall.- 8.2.3 Blepharis spp.- Flowering-Day Length Independent.- Seed Dispersal by Rain or Floods from the Protected Aerial Seed Bank and Cautious Germination Strategy.- Regulation of Germination by the Mucilaginous Layer Surrounding the Seeds.- Connection of the Seeds to the Soil by the Mucilage.- Fast Germination of the Dispersed Seeds.- 8.2.4 Plantago coronopus.- Flowering.- Influence of Day Length During Seed Maturation on Seed Numbers, Biomass and Germinability.- Post-Maturation Temperatures and Primary Dormancy (After-Ripening) of the Protected Aerial Seed Bank.- Dispersal of Mucilaginous Seeds by Rain (Myxospermy).- Phenotypic Plasticity of Germination.- 8.2.5 Hordeum spontaneum.- Biodiversity Among Local Genotypes.- Biodiversity of Primary Dormancy.- Biodiversity of Seedling Drought Tolerance.- 8.3 Conclusion.- References.- Index of Latin Names.

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"... this book is recommended to experts as well as to others with interest in plant sciences (physiology, ecology, conservation biology or botany). A most valuable trait of the book is the comprehensive summary of our actual knowledge on the adaptations and survival strategies of annual desert plants, what was not yet available. Aided by analysis of numerous experiments and case studies observed in the Negev Desert ..., the author demonstrates that these plants are not just interesting exceptions, but one of the greatest survivors of their habitat." (Community Ecology) "This book encapsulates a lifetime's wisdom on plant survival in the harshest of environments - the desert ... The content of the book ranges widely, with examples from many of the world's great deserts, drawing together information from both old and new literature and describing many of the observations and experiments from the author's own laboratory. ... The wealth of information within this volume, with the twenty-two pages of literature citations, makes this dedicated work the encyclopedia from which to start." (Israel Journal of Plant Sciences)

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