Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (189 KB)

Title: Germination phenology of some Great Basin native annual forb species

Author: Forbis, Tara A.;

Date: 2010

Source: Plant Species Biology. 25: 221-230.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Great Basin native plant communities are being replaced by the annual invasive cheatgrass Bromus tectorum. Cheatgrass exhibits a germination syndrome that is characteristic of facultative winter annuals. Although perennials dominate these communities, native annuals are present at many sites. Germination timing is often an important predictor of competitive interactions, and might determine whether the use of annual species in restoration efforts will be successful. I used a laboratory experiment to determine whether a suite of native annuals exhibit winter or spring annual germination syndromes. Seeds of Amsinckia menziesii var. intermedia, Amsinckia tesselata, Blepharipappus scaber, Descurainia pinnata, Eriastrum sparsiflorum, Lappula occidentalis, Mentzelia veatchiana and Plagiobothrys tenellus were tested for dormancy, and for responsiveness to light, cold stratification and dry after-ripening. Species that would be expected to be most similar to cheatgrass are those that have no requirement for cold stratification and are therefore likely to germinate under autumn or winter conditions. The species that clearly met this criterion in this laboratory study were A. menziesii var. intermedia, A. tesselata, D. pinnata and L. occidentalis. In contrast, B. scaber, E. sparsiflorum, M. veatchiana and P. tenellus had their highest germination after cold stratification and would be expected to be spring germinators. Blepharipappus scaber was not coaxed out of dormancy to a great degree by any of the treatments I applied and may exhibit cue-non-responsive dormancy. Field seed burial experiments, as well as experiments examining the competitive ability of these annuals versus cheatgrass will further inform us about their potential for success in restoration seedings.

Keywords: annual, Bromus tectorum, forb, germination, Great Basin, restoration

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)



Forbis, Tara A. 2010. Germination phenology of some Great Basin native annual forb species. Plant Species Biology. 25: 221-230.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.