Light, ash, and pH effects on the germination and seedling growth of Typha latifolia (cattail)
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): P. G. Rivard; P. M. Woodard
Publication Year: 1989

Cataloging Information

  • Alberta
  • ash
  • biomass
  • Canada
  • germination
  • leaves
  • light
  • marshes
  • pH
  • plant growth
  • roots
  • seed germination
  • seedlings
  • seeds
  • Typha
  • Typha latifolia
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 31522
Tall Timbers Record Number: 5569
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Fire is a natural process that opens Typha latifolia L. stands by removing aboveground biomass, but little is known about how ash resulting from marsh burning affects Typha seed germination. We measured the response of T. latifolia seed to simulated pre- and post-fire effects under laboratory conditions and tested seed collected in spring for the effect of ash on seed germination and seedling morphology. Seeds were soaked for 7 days in aqueous solutions of leaf extracts, ash additions, and various pH solutions in light and dark treatments at 25 C in vitro. In light, seed germination did not vary significantly (p < 0.01, Tukey's honestly significant difference test) among solution treatments. In darkness, seed germination was inhibited mostly by green leaf extract and yielded only 15% germination. Addition of ash to green leaf extract resulted in a germination of 40%. Solutions with pH of 4.0, 7.0, and 12.0 had no significant effect on germination or total plant lengths, regardless of the light treatment. Root to total plant lengths were decreased by dark treatments but not by pH. Root development was strongly inhibited by green leaf extract even with ash. Shoot growth continued with no apparent root development only in these two solutions. Three implications for marsh management of T. latifolia are proposed. Abstract reproduced by permission of The Canadian Journal of Botany.©NRC Canada

Online Link(s):
Rivard, P. G., and P. M. Woodard. 1989. Light, ash, and pH effects on the germination and seedling growth of Typha latifolia (cattail). Canadian Journal of Botany, v. 67, p. 2783-2787.