Seed Germination and Seedling Establishment

Once seeds are produced and dispersed, the next phase of the life cycle is seed germination and establishment of subsequent seedlings. The quality of the site where seeds are dispersed is crucial to ensure successful recruitment into the population. Seeds may remain dormant and viable in the soil seed bank to ensure germination during a favorable season of the year. Seed dormancy may play an important role in regulating germination, and several diverse factors have been identified to influence seed germination. Different types of seed dormancy have been described and the persistence of seeds in the soil seed bank can be highly variable among all life-history types of flowering plants. It must be noted that the microhabitat conditions for germination not necessarily coincide with those for seedling establishment. Hence, effective recruitment of new individuals in the population requires the combination of both processes.

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