Phosphorous and pH tolerances in the germination of the desert shrub <i>Larrea tridentata</i> (Zygophyllaceae)

TitlePhosphorous and pH tolerances in the germination of the desert shrub Larrea tridentata (Zygophyllaceae)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1987
AuthorsLajtha K, Weishampel J, Schlesinger W.H
Date Published1987
Call Number00167
Keywordsarticle, articles, germination, Larrea, journal, journals, Larrea, germination, phosphorous, Larrea, germination, soil pH, pH tolerances, Larrea, phosphorous, seed, germination
AbstractSeeds of Larrea tridentata, a dominant shrub of deserts in the southwestern U.S., were germinated on both a pH and phosphorus (P) gradient to determine if requirements for germination can help explain the field distribution of Larrea. Germination decreased significantly above pH 8, which is consistent with the conspicuous absence of Larrea from high pH sodic or saline desert soils. Although Larrea tends to be absent from noncalcareous soil, seed germination was not inhibited in acidic solutions. Germination showed no response to P or to interactions of pH and P. In contrast, recent literature has suggested that Larrea may be restricted to calcareous soils of low phosphorus availability due to toxicity of high concentrations of P to seedlings.