Submitted to: Journal of Range Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/10/2002
Publication Date: 11/15/2003
Citation: Young, J.A., Clements, D.D., Blank, R.R. 2003. Germination of seeds of Fremont cottonwood. Journal of Range Management. 56(6): 660-664.
Interpretive Summary: Fremont cottonwood is virtually the only tree that occurs in riparian areas of streams in the dry portions of the Intermountain and Southwestern United States. Getting new trees to establish is a major problem in many areas. This study is a first set toward understanding the seed and seedbed ecology of this native tree. We found that freshly harvested seeds of Fremont cottonwood germinated at a wide range of constant or alternating temperatures. The seeds were highly viable, often germinating at 100%. Virtually no research had previously been done on these seeds because the high viability only last for a short period of time after maturity. At optimum temperatures the Fremont cottonwood seeds germinated very rapidly.
Technical Abstract: Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii) is an extremely important species in riparian ecosystems in the Intermountain Area and the Southwestern United States. It is often the only tree species in desert riparian systems. Over much of the range of this species recruitment of seedlings is very limited and not sufficient to maintain populations. To understand the seed and seedbed ecology of this species we studied the germination of Fremont cottonwood seeds at a wide range of constant or alternating incubation temperatures. The seeds were highly viable with 100% germination observed at a number of incubation temperatures. These seeds have not previously been extensively studied because their viability is very short lived.