Abstract

Seed dispersors, seed viability, germinatíon and seed presenee in the soil seed bank are unknown aspects for most holoparasitic plants. In the subdeeiduous tropical forest at the CICOLMA field station in Veraeruz, México, seeds of Bdallophyton bambusarum Liebrn. are dispersed by Peromyscus mexicanus mexicanus, and oecasionally by ants (Atta sp.). Fruit is available during the time of lowest resource availability in ¡he forest, when land crabs are abundant (Gecarcinus lateralis Frem.), butseeds are not dispersed by crabs. Seeds of B. bambusarum are present in the soil seed bank, but only near around the inflorescences (both sexes). To trigger seed germination, we applied scarification with sulfuric acid, hot and water inbivision and root exhudated eontaet to 40 lots of seeds (total ca. 54 200 seeds). Only eight seeds broke the seed test and they died soon afterwards. Seeds did not germinate experimentally in culture media (30 seeds lots, total ca. 19 960 seeds in mixtures of agar, agar-potato-dextrose, and root extracts with and without the parasite), and when in direct rool contact (20 lots, ca. 6 656 seeds). The two viability tests failed. Apparently germination not only requires proximity or contaet with the host roots but also particular soil characteristics.
Keywords: dispersion, seed bank, germination, holoparasite_, Bdallophyton bambusarum, Veracruz, México