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Impact of seasonally frozen soil on germinability and antioxidant enzyme activity of Picea asperata seeds

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Abstract:

In the subalpine zone of the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau of China, Dragon spruce (Picea asperata Mast.) is commonly used for reforestation. The aim of the present work was to study the effects of seasonally frozen soil on the germination of P. asperata seeds and to investigate whether these effects were associated with resumption of the antioxidant defense system. The nonfrozen treatment resulted in near failure of germination (1%) and was associated with relatively high levels of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and low activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and ascorbate peroxide (APX). Germination of P. asperata seeds at 10cm under the seasonally frozen soil was higher than that at 5cm by 26%; this higher germination rate was associated with the recovery of SOD, CAT, and APX activities. The levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) in seeds from seasonally frozen treatments were higher than those in the nonfrozen treatment, implying greater lipid peroxidation and that frozen seeds might have suffered from oxidative stress. The results indicate that seasonally frozen soil facilitated the germination of P. asperata seeds and that germination was closely related to the resumption of antioxidant enzymes activity. Overall, these findings suggest that the disappearance of seasonally frozen ground caused by global warming might result in failure of regeneration of P. asperata.

L’épicéa de Chine (Picea asperata Mast.) est couramment utilisé pour le reboisement dans la zone subalpine du plateau Qinghai–Tibet en Chine. Le but des travaux présentés dans cet article consistait à étudier les effets d’un gel saisonnier dans le sol sur la germination des graines de P. asperata et à déterminer si ces effets étaient associés au rétablissement du système de défense antioxydant. Un traitement sans gel a empêché presque toute germination (1 %) et était associé à un niveau relativement élevé de peroxyde d’hydrogène (H2O2) et à une faible activité de la superoxyde dismutase (SOD), de la catalase (CAT) et de l’ascorbate peroxydase (APx). À une profondeur de 10 cm dans un sol soumis à un gel saisonnier la germination des graines de P. asperata était 26 % plus élevée qu’à 5 cm et elle était associée à la reprise de l’activité de la SOD, de la CAT et de l’APx. Le niveau de propanedial (MDA) dans les graines exposées à un gel saisonnier était plus élevé que dans les graines non exposées au gel, ce qui implique une plus grande peroxydation des lipides et le fait que ces graines aient pu souffrir d’un stress oxydatif. Les résultats indiquent que le gel saisonnier dans le sol assure une meilleure germination des graines de P.asperata. La germination était étroitement reliée à la reprise de l’activité des enzymes antioxydantes. La disparition du gel saisonnier dans le sol causée par le réchauffement global pourrait mettre en péril la régénération de P. asperata.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-04-01

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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