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Seeds - 2nd Edition - ISBN: 9780124166776, 9780124166837


2nd Edition

Ecology, Biogeography, and, Evolution of Dormancy and Germination

Authors: Carol Baskin Jerry Baskin
Hardcover ISBN: 9780124166776
eBook ISBN: 9780124166837
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 20th February 2014
Page Count: 1600
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The new edition of Seeds contains new information on many topics discussed in the first edition, such as fruit/seed heteromorphism, breaking of physical dormancy and effects of inbreeding depression on germination. New topics have been added to each chapter, including dichotomous keys to types of seeds and kinds of dormancy; a hierarchical dormancy classification system; role of seed banks in restoration of plant communities; and seed germination in relation to parental effects, pollen competition, local adaption, climate change and karrikinolide in smoke from burning plants.

The database for the world biogeography of seed dormancy has been expanded from 3,580 to about 13,600 species. New insights are presented on seed dormancy and germination ecology of species with specialized life cycles or habitat requirements such as orchids, parasitic, aquatics and halophytes. Information from various fields of science has been combined with seed dormancy data to increase our understanding of the evolutionary/phylogenetic origins and relationships of the various kinds of seed dormancy (and nondormancy) and the conditions under which each may have evolved. This comprehensive synthesis of information on the ecology, biogeography and evolution of seeds provides a thorough overview of whole-seed biology that will facilitate and help focus research efforts.

Key Features

  • Most wide-ranging and thorough account of whole-seed dormancy available
  • Contains information on dormancy and germination of more than 14,000 species from all the continents – even the two angiosperm species native to the Antarctica continent
  • Includes a taxonomic index so researchers can quickly find information on their study organism(s) and
  • Provides a dichotomous key for the kinds of seed dormancy
  • Topics range from fossil evidence of seed dormancy to molecular biology of seed dormancy
  • Much attention is given to the evolution of kinds of seed dormancy
  • Includes chapters on the basics of how to do seed dormancy studies; on special groups of plants, for example orchids, parasites, aquatics, halophytes; and one chapter devoted to soil seed banks
  • Contains a revised, up-dated classification scheme of seed dormancy, including a formula for each kind of dormancy
  • Detailed attention is given to physiological dormancy, the most common kind of dormancy on earth


Plant scientists; ecologists; evolutionary biologists; plant and seed physiologists; researchers in crop science, agriculture, plant conservation strategies, and plant development, libraries, seedbank and seed testing facilities, and those propagating wild plants; and academics and students in these areas.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition

Preface to First Edition

Chapter 1. Introduction


Seed Germination Ecology

A Book on Seed Dormancy and Germination from a Different Perspective

Chapter 2. Ecologically Meaningful Germination Studies


Definition of Seed Dormancy

Guidelines for Laboratory Studies on Germination Ecology

Germinating Seeds You Know Nothing About

Chapter 3. Types of Seeds and Kinds of Seed Dormancy


Types of Seeds

Classification of Seed Dormancy

Overview of Classes of Seed Dormancy

Chapter 4. Germination Ecology of Seeds with Nondeep Physiological Dormancy


Discovery of Dormancy Cycles

Changes in the State of Dormancy

The Dormancy Continuum

Environmental Factors Causing Changes in Dormancy States

Chapter 5. Germination Ecology of Seeds with Morphophysiological Dormancy


Levels of Morphophysiological Dormancy

Chapter 6. Germination Ecology of Seeds with Physical Dormancy


Germination Phenology

Internal Moisture Conditions of Seeds

Artificial Softening of Water-Impermeable Seed (or Fruit) Coat

Germination Requirements of Permeable Seeds

Environmental Control of Breaking Physical Dormancy

Long-Term Storage of Permeable Seeds

Seeds with Physical and Physiological Dormancy

Chapter 7. Germination Ecology of Seeds in the Persistent Seed Bank


Aerial Seed Banks

Soil Seed Banks

Longevity of Seeds in the Soil

Impact of Animals on Water-Permeable Seeds Entering the Seed Bank

What Can Happen to Seeds in the Soil?

Effects of Seed Banks on Populations

Persistence of Communities

Restoration of Plant Communities

Chapter 8. Variation in Seed Dormancy and Germination within and between Individuals and Populations of a Species


Inheritance of Seed Dormancy

Inheritance of Dormancy-Breaking and Germination Characteristics

Variation in Seed Germination Responses

Factors that Cause Preconditioning Effects

Changes In Seeds as a Result of the Preconditioning Environment

Variation in Seeds within a Species

Cleistogamy, Amphicarpy, Geocarpy and Seed Germination Ecology

Chapter 9. A Geographical Perspective on Germination Ecology: Tropical and Subtropical Zones


Evergreen Rainforests

Tropical Mountains

Semievergreen Tropical Forests

Tropical Deciduous Forests

Tropical Dry Woodlands, Natural Savannas and Grasslands

Hot Semideserts and Deserts

Chapter 10. A Geographical Perspective on Germination Ecology: Temperate and Arctic Zones


Sclerophyllous Woodlands with Winter Rain

Moist Warm Temperature Woodlands

Deciduous (Nemoral) Forests

Steppes or Grasslands of the Temperate Zones

Semideserts and Deserts with Cold Winters

Boreal Coniferous and Temperate Subalpine Zones

Arctic and Temperate-Zone Alpine Tundra


Chapter 11. Germination Ecology of Plants with Specialized Life Cycles and/or Habitats


Parasitic Plants

Myco-Heterotrophic Plants Other Than Orchids


Carnivorous Plants

Aquatic (Nonsaline) Plants


Psammophytes of Nonsaline Soils

Chapter 12. Biogeographical and Evolutionary Aspects of Seed Dormancy


World Biogeography of the Kinds of Seed Dormancy

Theoretical Considerations on the Evolution of Seed Dormancy

Paleoclimate as a Background for the Evolution of Seed Dormancy

Fossil History of Seeds as it Relates to Dormancy

Seed Dormancy and Phylogenetic Position of Family

Seed Dormancy and Presumed age of Plant Families

Seed Dormancy and Martin’s Family Tree of Seed Phylogeny

Type of Embryo and Presumed age of Plant Families

Origins and Relationships of Seed Dormancy Classes


Taxonomic Index

Subject Index


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2014
20th February 2014
Academic Press
Hardcover ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Authors

Carol Baskin

Carol Baskin

Over 50 years’ experience in seed germination ecology, biogeography, and evolution of seed dormancy and germination. Dr Baskin has a Ph.D. in biology from Vanderbilt University and has held several teaching posts in the fields of agricultural sciences and biology in the US and Europe. Dr Baskin’s current research at the University of Kentucky focuses on the life cycle and germination ecology of woody and herbaceous species of angiosperms; biology, conservation, and geographical ecology of plant taxa endemic to cedar (limestone) glades of unglaciated eastern United States; and plant geography of Kentucky. She has written several publications on the subject of seed germination, most notably Seeds: Ecology, biogeography, and evolution of dormancy (Elsevier), in collaboration with her husband Dr Jerry M. Baskin.

Affiliations and Expertise

School of Biological Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, U.S.A.

Jerry Baskin

Jerry Baskin

Dr Baskin received his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in June 1967 and after 1 year of postdoctoral work at the University of Florida joined the University of Kentucky (UK) Biology faculty in 1968. He was promoted to Full Professor in 1981and retired from UK in June 2011. Almost all of his publications are co-authored with Carol C. Baskin. He has approximately 520 journal articles plus 14 book chapters and 10 publications in symposium and conference proceedings. The first edition of “Seeds” was published in 1998 and the second edition in 2014. The book on rock outcrops and barrens (co-edited with J. Fralish and R. Anderson) was published in 1999.

Affiliations and Expertise

School of Biological Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, U.S.A.


"Researchers, students, and professionals will find it invaluable, particularly if they are interested in plant ecology, evolution, diversity, biogeography, or conservation . Summing Up: Highly recommended." --Choice

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