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The Seed Bank of a Tallgrass Prairie in Illinois

Ronald G. Johnson and Roger C. Anderson
The American Midland Naturalist
Vol. 115, No. 1 (Jan., 1986), pp. 123-130
DOI: 10.2307/2425842
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2425842
Page Count: 8
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The Seed Bank of a Tallgrass Prairie in Illinois
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Abstract

Number and species identity of seeds in the seed bank of a remnant tallgrass prairie were determined by collecting 50 soil cores (10 cm diam and 10 cm deep), spreading them in greenhouse flats and counting and identifying emerging seedlings. Number of seeds was estimated to be 2019 seeds/m2 and most (66.5%) were in the upper 2 cm of soil. Seeds of most species were aggregated. Dominant species in the seed bank were Eryngium yuccifolium and Aster pilosus, and dominant plant species in the aboveground vegetation were Sporobolus heterolepis and Amorpha canescens. There was a weak positive correlation (r2 = +0.23, p < 0.001) between abundance of species in the seed bank and in aboveground vegetation. Plant species considered to be aggressive or weedy had more seeds in the seed bank than would be expected from their abundance in the vegetation.

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