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Seedling establishment is the most critical phase in plant development, making the seedling an important area in basic and applied research. This new graduate-level textbook presents key topics such as different types of germination, the transition from seed to seedling, hormonal regulation of trophisms and morphogenesis and autotrophy acquisition, going on to consider seedling ecology, how seedlings survive in extreme environments and the seedling stage in weeds, agriculture and environmental plants.
1) Introduction 1.1 What is a seedling? 1.2 The biological significance of the seedling stage 2) From seed to seedling 2.1 Seed dispersal 2.1.1 The role of dispersal 2.1.2 Morphological adaptations assisting dispersal 2.2 The internal morphology of seeds 2.2.1 Storage tissues 2.2.2 Embryo types 2.3 Seed germination 2.3.1 Definition of germination 2.3.2 Dormancy and soil seed banks 2.3.3 Conditions for germination 2.3.4 Events before and after radicle protrusion 3) Seedling structure and development 3.1. Morphological types of germination 3.1.1. Epigeal germination 3.1.2. Hypogeal germination 3.2. Seedling development and establishment 3.2.1. Seed size and life form 3.2.2. Stages of seedling development 3.3. Seedling vigour 2) Seedling biochemistry 4.1. From seed to seedling - transition to a photoautotrophic life-style 4.1.1. Mobilization of food reserves 4.1.2. Development of the photosynthetic capacity 4.2. Nutrient and water uptake: nitrogen and sulphur assimilation 4.3. Protection from environmental stress 4.3.1. Water 4.3.2. Light intensity 4.3.3. Soil chemistry 4.3.4. Oxidative stresses 4.4. Predation protection 4.4.1. Shoots 4.4.2. Roots 4.5. Response to damage (cell death / necrosis / arrested development) 5) The co-ordination of early development 5.1. The physics of emergence 5.2. Tropisms 5.2.1. Geotropism 5.2.2. Phototropism 5.2.3. Thigmotropism 5.2.4. Circadian rhythms 5.3. Photomorpogenesis 5.4 Signalling networks and coordination of development 6) Seedling ecology 6.1 Why seedlings die 6.1.1 Abiotic factors 6.1.2. Biotic factors 6.2. Community structure and dynamics 6.3. Impacts of climate change 6.4. Relevance for ecological restoration? 7) Specialised life styles - extreme environments 7.1. Parasitic 7.2. Aquatic 7.3. Salt marsh/mangrove 7.4. Desert 7.4. Mycorrhizal 8) Specialised life styles - agricultural & environmental plants 8.1. Maximising plant seedling establishment 8.2. Creating uniformity and synchrony 8.3. Creating rapid growth 8.4. Promoting competitive ability 9) Specialised life styles - weeds 9.1. Minimising weed seedling establishment 9.2. Competitive interactions with crops 9.3. Chemical interactions with crops 9.4. Special tolerances to stresses 9.5. Promoting competitive ability 10) Summary Chapter