This study examines how the latitude of cultivation of Ginkgo biloba affects the timing of all phases of its sexual reproductive cycle, from pollination through germination. Seeds produced by trees growing in warm-temperate climates germinate earlier in the year than seeds produced in cold-temperate climates, and they have a longer period of time available for seedling establishment. The embryos of G. biloba seeds possess a temperature-dependent developmental-delay mechanism that allows seeds to survive winter by preventing premature germination in the fall. This and other cold-climate adaptations appear to have evolved within the genus Ginkgo during the early Cretaceous, when the Northern Hemisphere was undergoing dramatic cooling after a long period of stable, warm conditions. Ginkgo biloba seeds possess an odoriferous sarcotesta that attracts mammalian scavengers in Asia—most notably members of the Carnivora—presumably by mimicking the smell of carrion. Seeds cleaned of their sarcotesta germinated faster and at higher percentages than those with their sarcotesta intact, suggesting that animal dispersal plays an important role in promoting seedling establishment. During the Cretaceous, potential dispersal agents included mammals, birds, and carnivorous dinosaurs.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.