Correlation of lignin with dissemination strategy among annual desert plants

Y. Steinberger, A. Shmida, H. Leschner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Scopus citations


    Long-term field observations on desert plant biology in the Negev Desert Highlands yielded a broad knowledge on differences in seed dissemination during the year. The timing of seed dissemination determines the success of a species by reducing competition for resources and location, which plays an important role, especially in arid and semiarid environments. We used lignin content, one of the most appropriate structural components, to measure the persistence of standing dead plants with their seeds during hot and dry seasons. According to our data, the lignin content of annual plant skeleton corresponds with the plant traits with regard to seed dispersal, dissemination spread of risk, and germination of the seeds. We suggest that lignin content of plant skeleton could be used as a good index of plant hardiness, in terms of seed dissemination in harsh environments.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)149-155
    Number of pages7
    JournalArid Soil Research and Rehabilitation
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 1990

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This research was supported partly by a grant from the Israel Academy of Science Foundation, Jerusalem, Israel. The fieldwork was carried out at the Avdat farm, Blau-stein Desert Research Institute, Sde-Boker, Israel. We thank Nira Einan for her technical assistance and good advice during the study period. We appreciate the constructive criticisms of William Garner of the Israel Water Commission.


    • Annual plant species
    • Desert plant species
    • Lignin
    • Seed dispersal


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