Great Basin Naturalist


Seeds of 12 populations of Mimulus guttatus representative of the Wasatch Mountain ecotype were incubated for 17 months (one natural season plus a year) in five artificial climates found in phytotron studies to be important to the growth of the plants of that form of monkey flower. In all but the coldest climate, germination occurred promptly (3–8 days, on average), peaked during the first three weeks, and then tapered off gradually well into the second season. Generally, the amount and timing of germination was plastic, showing much the same range of responses in widely different climates both overall and for individual populations. However, in some cases, there were significant differences between populations indicative of polymorphism within the species. For example, germination was significantly slower, more variable, and less in amount the higher the elevation of origin of the populations. The responses of the population suggest the presence of both much plasticity and much polymorphism for germination characteristics in this form of M. guttatus.