Endemic species in biodiversity hotspots are often dependent on edaphic conditions and germination strategies that allow them to persist under climatically variable conditions. Torres-Martinez et al. tested whether geographic variation in historical precipitation patterns predicts patterns of dormancy and germination timing for populations of Lasthenia fremontii, a vernal pool annual endemic to the California Floristic Province.
Dormancy levels were predicted by the variance in precipitation at each population’s home location, while seed germination timing was more closely associated with total precipitation levels. The results suggest that the trait of seed dormancy may enable some populations to track the increasingly drier climates predicted by climate change models.
This article is part of the AoB Special Issue on Endemism Hotspots as Climate Change Refugia, which is free access for a couple of months, then behind the paywall for a while before being free access after February 2017.