The effect of the ambient conditions on the life cycle of a bulbous plant

DOI: 10.3369/tethys.2014.11.04

Tethys no. 11 pp.: 39 - 49

Abstract

To evaluate how weather conditions affect the life cycle of a bulbous plant species, a methodology is proposed here using Crocus cambessedesii, a plant that is endemic to Mallorca and Menorca. Data from an experimental field study conducted from 2007 to 2013 in the south west of Mallorca is taken together with meteorological observations from Palma Airport, located about 10 km away from the site. The bias in the observations between the Airport and the field site is discussed, as well as the importance of performing meteorological measurements in situ to have a better knowledge of the local processes. It is found that flowering and fruiting periods start when the mean temperature is between the range of 16-20ºC and 10-14ºC, respectively. In addition, a certain amount of soil water content is needed (it has been raining during the previous days). These results are in agreement with those obtained for Crocus sativus, extensively studied for economic interests. Finally, some recommendations are made to apply this methodology to plants in other locations or other species.

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Partially funded through grants CGL2007-29820-E/CLI, CGL2008-02804-E/, CGL2009-07417-E and CGL2011-14046-E of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation