I quantified seed production and ovule losses for Ceanothus fendleri Gray (Fendler ceanothus) plants protected from large ungulate herbivores in a ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa [Laws]) forest of northern Arizona. I also tested seed germination responses to cold stratification and heat treatments in the laboratory. Fruit production on fecund stems ranged from 7.4 to 38.2 fruits per stem, which equated to 22.2–118.2 potential seeds based on 3 ovules per fruit. Stems that produced fruit were significantly large relative to their expected sizes. Predispersal ovule losses ranged from 70.7% to 91.4% across the 2 years studied. A chalcidoid seed parasite (Eurytoma squamosa Bugbee) consumed 11%–28% of the total number of seeds produced. Postdispersal seed predation varied from 0% to 24% and was significantly affected by forest floor substrate in 1 study year. Cumulative ovule losses were estimated to be 71%–92%. Cold stratification did not significantly affect seed germination, and exposure to 90°C resulted in the highest germination percentage. Both dormant and nondormant seeds suggested a bet-hedging life history strategy. This study provides basic ecological information important for management of ponderosa pine forest and nursery production of C. fendleri.
Huffman, David W.
"Production, losses, and germination of Ceanothus fendleri seeds in an Arizona ponderosa pine forest,"
Western North American Naturalist: Vol. 66
, Article 10.
Available at: http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/wnan/vol66/iss3/10