Biodiversity Science ›› 2008, Vol. 16 ›› Issue (2): 126-132.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2008.06232

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Soil seed bank traits in an area invaded by Eupatorium adenophorum

Weiguang Dang1, 2, Xianming Gao1 *, Jinfang Wang1, 2, Aifang Li1, 2   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Bei-jing 100093
    2 Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2007-11-24 Revised:2007-12-12 Online:2008-02-20
  • Xianming Gao

Soil seed banks are potential plant populations; therefore, their temporal and spatial patterns affect future plant community dynamics and stability. In the regions invaded by Eupatorium adenophorum, soil seed bank traits can play a key role in construction and function of future ecosystems. We studied the vegetation and soil seed banks in an area invaded by E. adenophorum in Panzhihua, Sichuan Province using a combination of field work and germination trails. We explored seed density and species composition in soil seed banks before and after a seed rain of E. adenophorum. The results showed that: (1) The experimental sites were so heavily damaged by E. adenophorum that the vegetation was simple; in shrub layers, mean coverage and frequency of Coriaria nepalensis, Ficus tikoua, Desmodiunm elegans, Abelia parvifolia and Pistacia weinmannifolia were higher than other shrubs. In herb layer, E. adenophorum, ranging in age between 0 and 4 years, was the most abundant as its Drude abundance was Soc and the frequency was 100%. (2) Seeds of 13 species were found in soil seed banks. The similarity index for species in the vegetation and in the soil seed bank was 0.31. The density of E. adenophorum seeds was 1,950/m2, accounting for 61.3% of total stor-age in the soil seed bank (3,180/m2), and there were not significantly (P>0.05) fewer seeds in upper layer than other layers. (3) Total seed storage before the seed rain of E. adenophorum (1,950 seeds/m2) accounted for 41.2% of the storage after the seed rain (4,733 seeds/m2). After the seed rain, germination of E. adenophorum seeds from the soil showed two peaks at the 9th and 17th day, implying that seeds could periodically break dormancy. Our results indicated that E. adenophorum played a priority role in the soil seeds. The scar-city of other species in the seed banks was the main reason that E. adenophorum population regenerated and flourished continuously, and the invasion of E. adenophorum was hard to control.

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