Abstract Detail


Zou, Chabo [1], Martini, Francesco [1], Castillo, Diana [1], Manage Goodale, Uromi [1].

Soil seed bank dynamics along an elevational gradient in subtropical forests in Guangxi, south China.

The soil seed bank (SSB), defined as the sum of all the surviving seeds in the litter and in the soil is an inseparable part of the forest ecosystem and plays an important role in vegetation succession and forest recovery. Altitude, microsite conditions and the representation of the aboveground vegetation can all determine the diversity, abundance, density, species composition of SSBs. Here, using 13, 1-ha permanent forest monitoring plots developed along a 350 m to 1850 m elevation gradient by the Forestry College of Guangxi University, at Cen Wang Lao Shan, Da Yao Shan, Hua Ping and Mu Lun Nature Reserves. We studied the SSB characteristics and dynamics along spatial gradients in two seasons using a total of 1248 soil samples collected adjacent to already established seedling plots (24 seedling plots in each one ha plot x 13 x 4 samples per seedling plot), at each elevation and in the perimeter of the 1-ha plots, in spring and autumn in May and October, respectively. The soil was processed and separately germinated in the Guangxi University green-houses, scoring seedling emergence for each collected sample and was monitored for 5 months identifying seedlings to morpho-species, genus or species level. Using the germination data, we calculated a total of six indices to assess seed density, diversity and abundance as well as species rarity and uniqueness. We assessed the effects of elevation, canopy openness, soil nutrients, soil moisture, and microsite topography on these indices using general linear mixed models and visualized compositional similarities between forest SSBs and standing vegetation and each SSB using non-metric multidimensional scaling models (NMDS). We tested the significance of correlation between habitats and NMDS axes to determine whether the SSB represents the above ground vegetation. The associations between species and each forest reserve was performed using Indicator Species Analysis.

1 - Guangxi University, College Of Forestry, Key Laboratory Incubation Base For Forest Ecology And Conservation, Daxuedonglu 100, Nanning, 45, 530005, China

Soil Seed Bank
Subtropical forests
altitudinal gradients.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: 0014
Abstract ID:647
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Graduate Student Paper

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