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Seed Banks at Six Open and Afforested Heathland Sites in Southern Sweden

Anders Granstrom
Journal of Applied Ecology
Vol. 25, No. 1 (Apr., 1988), pp. 297-306
DOI: 10.2307/2403627
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2403627
Page Count: 10
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Seed Banks at Six Open and Afforested Heathland Sites in Southern Sweden
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Abstract

(1) Germinable seed banks in the soil were determined for six sites in southern Sweden: a grazed heathland, four first generation Picea abies plantations aged 30-73 years and one recently clear-felled area previously covered with an 85-year-old first generation P. abies plantation. (2) On the open heathland site, the top 6 cm of soil was estimated to contain twenty-two species with a total of 45 200 (S.E. 4200) seeds m-2, 88% being of Calluna vulgaris. (3) The depth distributions of the predominant species down to 9 cm in the mineral soil varied greatly, although all species occurred through the whole sampled section, suggesting that many seeds were probably not recently deposited. (4) The four P. abies plantations had fairly similar soil seed floras. Twenty-four species were found, of which fifteen had probably been stored in the soil since before afforestation. Most seeds were of Calluna vulgaris (up to 26 600 (S.E. 2000) seeds m-2 down to 6 cm in the mineral soil for the different sites), Carex pilulifera (up to 2400 (S.E. 410) seeds m-2) and Juncus spp. (up to 780 (S.E. 250) seeds m-2). There was no trend in seed densities with stand age. (5) On the clear-felled area, dense stands of C. vulgaris and C. pilulifera were present, but only in scarified patches of soil, showing that the seeds of certain heathland species may survive an entire forest rotation in the soil in numbers sufficient to be important for the revegetation after felling if the humus layer is disturbed.

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