The role of seed bank in the dynamics of understorey in an oak forest in Hungary

G. Koncz, Mária Papp, P. Török, Zs Kotroczó, Zs Krakomperger, G. Matus, B. Tóthmérész

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4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We studied the potential role of seed bank in the dynamics of the understorey in a turkey oak-sessile oak forest (Querceteum petraeae-cerris) in Hungary. We used long-term records of the herb layer (1973-2006) and the seed bank composition of 2006 to assess the role of seed bank in the regeneration of herb layer. The total cover of herb layer decreased from 22% (1973) to 6% (1988), and remained low (<10%) till 2006; coinciding with the increasing cover of secondary canopy dominated by Acer campestre. We found a low density seed bank (ca. 1300 seeds/m2). Altogether 33 species were germinated from the soil samples. A few generalist weed species composed the majority of seed bank. It was possible to assign a seed bank type for 19 species; 14 species out of 19 was long-term persistent. We found that the characteristic perennial forest herbs and grasses had only sparse seed bank. The Jaccard similarity between vegetation and seed bank was low (<30%). Our results suggest that the continuous establishment of forest herbs are not based on local persistent seed bank; it should be based on vegetative spreading and/or seed rain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-119
Number of pages11
JournalActa biologica Hungarica
Volume61
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2010

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Keywords

  • Forest decay
  • herb species
  • seed density
  • seed persistence
  • seedling emergence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Neurology

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