Seed bank and seed rain in a rural landscape mosaic
2010 (English)In: 40th Annual Conference - Geselschaft für Ökologie - Book of Abstracts: The future of biodiversity: genes, species, ecosystems / [ed] Volkmar Wolters, Janine Groh, Franziska Peter, Rainer Waldhardt, 2010Conference paper (Other academic)
Semi natural grasslands are among Europe's most species rich habitats, but modernagricultural change has placed them under threat. The potential for restoration mighthowever exist, thanks to remnant plant populations in abandoned grasslands and smallremnant habitats, and the reintroduction of grazing in former arable fields. This studyempirically investigated the potential contribution of seed banks and seed rain in therestoration and conservation of grassland plant populations in the rural landscape, and tosee if samples taken at the landscape scale could give a general and meaningful overview,despite the known small scale variability in seed distribution. We took 30 seed banksamples, and placed 30 seed traps in ten replicates of grazed semi-natural grasslands,grazed former arable fields, mid-field islets and abandoned semi-natural grasslands in a236km landscape in southern Sweden. Plant species occurrence at each site was alsoinvestigated. Seed bank and seed rain samples were planted in a greenhouse assess theirgerminable seed content, from which 54 376 seedlings of 188 species emerged. Aboveground vegetation was found to be a generally poor predictor of seed bank and seed rainin all habitats. The presence of grassland specialists in the bank and rain samples ofabandoned grasslands and grazed former arable fields where they were not present in thevegetation implies a recolonisation potential for grassland communities at large temporaland spatial scales.
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IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-49487OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-49487DiVA: diva2:377712
40th Annual Conference - Geselschaft für Ökologie