Ecological Variability in the Germination Response to Temperature of Indigenous Populations of Foeniculum vulgare Mill., in Israel Academic Article uri icon


  • Foeniculum vulgare Mill. (Apiaceae) is a perennial hemicryptophyte native of the Mediterranean basin. In Israel, natural populations are distributed across different habitats and phytogeographical territories. To evaluate the occurrence of intra-specific adaptive traits, we studied the germination of mericarps, collected along a rainfall/altitude gradient, in response to constant and alternating temperatures. Germination response to the different temperature regimes was population specific (p<0.OO1), either when expressed as final percentage of germination (%G) or as germination rate (G50 and probability density functions). Southern-distributed populations exhibited higher %G as compared to northern ones under all temperature regimes. This in spite of the overall 50% decrease in %G at warmer constant and alternating temperatures that characterized the first. Temperature fluctuations prolonged the germination period of all populations by two to seven days, as compared to constant temperatures (7-13 days period), and populations responded differently to different fluctuation's factors, e.g. temperature amplitude, minimum andlor maximum temperature. Significant associations between germination (%G) and environmental variables was found e.g., January temp. (r= 0.62 to 0.70), rainfall (r= -0.58 to -0.84) and altitude (r= Ca. -0.7). Weight of mericarp varied significantly (p

publication date

  • August 2, 1998