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Comparative Studies of the Ability of Species to Withstand Prolonged Periods of Darkness

T. C. Hutchinson
Journal of Ecology
Vol. 55, No. 2 (Jul., 1967), pp. 291-299
DOI: 10.2307/2257878
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2257878
Page Count: 9
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Comparative Studies of the Ability of Species to Withstand Prolonged Periods of Darkness
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Abstract

The comparative ability of woodland species and those of unshaded habitats to withstand prolonged periods of darkness has been investigated. Species of woodlands were found to survive longer than species of unshaded habitats. Several species were able to survive a very long period of darkness and then to resume vigorous growth upon the resumption of suitable light conditions. Survival up to 104 days in the dark at 15⚬ C was recorded. Survival in the dark was longest on chronically toxic or nutritionally poor soils. This survival was temperature dependent. Seed weight had a direct bearing on seedling survival within the habitat categories but not between them. Freshly germinated seeds survived longer in the dark than seedlings raised for a period in the light prior to the dark treatment. Death was frequently associated with fungal attack.

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