Authors: VANESA MARTÍNEZ-FERNÁNDEZ, FELIPE MARTINEZ-GARCIA, FELIX PEREZ GARCIA
Abstract: Astragalus gines-lopezii Talavera, Podlech, Devesa & F.M.Vázquez (Fabaceae) is a threatened endemic species with a distribution restricted to a very small area in Badajoz Province (Extremadura Region, SW Spain) and only 2 populations are known. This species was catalogued in the \"Endangered\" category in the 2008 Red List and the 2010 Threatened Spanish Vascular Flora List. Despite its status as an endangered species, at present very little is known about the distribution, census, and reproductive biology of this species. In this study we have carried out an exhaustive census of A. gines-lopezii, and we have evaluated the production of flowers, fruits, and seeds and the existence or not of intra- and interpopulation variability in seed germination. Results have highlighted the high reproductive capacity of this species on the basis of a high production of flowers, fruits, and seeds. Mechanical scarification of seeds was effective for increasing germination. Thus, initial germination (22%-60%) was increased to 97%-99% when seeds were rubbed with sandpapers. A high intra- and interpopulation variability in seed germination was found in this species. A. gines-lopezii produces seeds with different degrees of physical dormancy, varying this grade among different individuals within a population.
Keywords: Astragalus, Leguminosae, hard seeds, seed dormancy, seed germination, seed scarification
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