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In temperate-zone mountains, summer frosts usually occur during unpredictable cold spells with snow-falls. Earlier studies have shown that vegetative aboveground organs of most high-mountain plants tolerate extracellular ice in the active state. However, little is known about the impact of frost on reproductive development and reproductive success. In(More)
Freezing patterns in the high alpine cushion plants Saxifraga bryoides, Saxifraga caesia, Saxifraga moschata and Silene acaulis were studied by infrared thermography at three reproductive stages (bud, anthesis, fruit development). The single reproductive shoots of a cushion froze independently in all four species at every reproductive stage. Ice formation(More)
In high-mountains, cold spells can occur at any time during the growing season and plants may be covered with snow for several days. This raises the question to what extent sexual processes are impaired by low temperatures. We tested pollen performance and fertilization capacity of high-mountain species with different elevational distribution in the(More)
BACKGROUND AND AIMS High alpine environments are characterized by short growing seasons, stochastic climatic conditions and fluctuating pollinator visits. These conditions are rather unfavourable for sexual reproduction of flowering plants. Apomixis, asexual reproduction via seed, provides reproductive assurance without the need of pollinators and(More)
Strong solar irradiation in combination with still air and dry soil can cause prostrate high-mountain plants to heat up considerably and ultimately suffer heat damage. Such heat damage has been repeatedly shown for vegetative structures, but not for reproductive structures, which we expected to be particularly vulnerable to heat. Heat effects on(More)
In temperate climates, most plants flower during the warmer season of the year to avoid negative effects of low temperatures on reproduction. Nevertheless, few species bloom in midwinter and early spring despite severe and frequent frosts at that time. This raises the question of adaption of sensible progamic processes such as pollen germination and pollen(More)
Extracellular ice nucleation usually occurs at mild subzero temperatures in most plants. For persistent supercooling of certain plant parts ice barriers are necessary to prevent the entry of ice from already frozen tissues. The reproductive shoot of Calluna vulgaris is able to supercool down to below -22°C throughout all developmental stages (shoot(More)
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