Entries by Carlos A. Ordóñez-Parra

Opinion. Burning lignin: overlooked cues for post-fire seed germination

Smoke is a crucial germination trigger in ecosystems with naturally recurring fires, such as savannas and Mediterranean forests. There are various compounds in smoke, yet karrikins (KARs) –the primary product of cellulose combustion– have dominated the research efforts to elucidate the mechanisms behind smoke-promoted germination. In this piece, Cao and collaborators draw our attention to […]

More warm-adapted species in soil seed banks than in herb layers

Climate change profoundly impacts plant communities, for example, by changing the geographic range of some species and locally extinguishing others. Yet these changes take time, maybe a few years, to be observed. This lag between climate and plant communities changes could result from the soil seed bank (i.e., the reserve of viable, ungerminated seeds in […]

Opinion: The role of microbial inheritance in the assembly of the plant microbiome

Seeds not only carry the embryo that will germinate and give rise to a new individual, but they are also the vector to the next generation for microorganisms from the mother plant and the environment. Consequently, seeds link the microbiome between plant generations. In this thorough review, Abdelfattah and colleagues take us on the journey […]

Does fire drive fatty acid composition in seed coats of physically dormant species?

Physical dormancy is imposed by an impermeable seed coat that prevents water uptake. For germination to occur, this coat must be broken. Fire passage, for example, breaks physical dormancy in ecosystems where such events are recurrent. However, the mechanisms behind how fire achieves this has yet to be explored. Fatty acids (FAs) influence seed coat […]

Review: The establishment of plants following long-distance dispersal

Seed dispersal is a critical ecological process with far-reaching implications. On rare occasions, seeds can be dispersed over vast distances, far beyond the range of the species. These events, known as long-distance dispersal, have profound evolutionary implications by expanding species distribution and triggering speciation. However, a comprehensive framework for understanding is still missing. In this […]

Flash flaming enhances mechanized seed sowing for ecological restoration

One of the main challenges of seed-based restoration is incorporating seeds from as wide a variety of species as possible. However, the seeds of some species have shapes or appendages that make it challenging to use specialized machinery for direct seeding, which hinders large-scale restoration projects and may lead to the exclusion of certain species. […]

Simulated climate warming decreases fruit number but increases seed mass

There is a growing number of studies showing the effects of rising temperatures on different aspects of plant life cycles and ecological dynamics. However, little is known about how a warmer world would affect plants’ reproductive performance; in other words, how many resources they invest in reproduction and how many of these are translated into […]