Title
Seed production in fens and fen meadows along a disturbance gradient
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Uppsala ,
Subject
Biology
Source (journal)
Applied vegetation science. - Uppsala
Volume/pages
12(2009) :3 , p. 304-315
ISSN
1402-2001
ISI
000268571000005
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Question: The seed production in several wetland communities across Europe was investigated and differences in seed output in relation to disturbance intensity were tested. The relationship between the vegetation composition and the seed production profile was examined and the results are discussed in relation to restoration. Location: Poland, Germany and the Netherlands. Methods: The seed production in various plant communities was estimated, based on field counts. In addition, records from available databases were used for missing data. Multivariate methods were used to characterize the vegetation and seed production. Communities were grouped according to level of disturbance and tested for differences in seed production. Similarity between vegetation composition and seed profile was examined using the Sørensen index and Spearman correlation coefficient. Results: It was found that the seed production of the studied communities is large, variable and in general increasing with disturbance intensity. The estimated median seed production was ca. 24 × 103 seeds m−2 in fens, 167 × 103 in fen meadows and 556 × 103 seeds m−2 in degraded meadows. The majority of seeds was produced by just a few species. The similarity between the vegetation composition and the seed production profile was low (similarity 52%, correlation coefficient 0.42, P<0.05) and slightly increased with disturbance intensity. Conclusions: Increased disturbance enhances seed production at the community level. The composition of the vegetation is a poor predictor of the seed output. It is estimated that the number of seeds transferred with hay is much lower than the seed production in fens and fen meadows.
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