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1 July 1999 Differences between Seed Bank Composition and Field Recruitment in a Temperate Zone Deciduous Forest
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Although much is known about variation in both seed bank composition and disturbance effects in temperate deciduous forests, understanding of how these components interact to determine the importance of seed banks to regeneration is limited. To examine the interactive influences of seed bank composition and postdisturbance environment on seed bank recruitment, a seed bank transplant experiment was conducted in a disturbed temperate zone deciduous forest in eastern Pennsylvania. On average, 75% of the seed bank remained ungerminated. This was mainly the result of failed germination by alien species. The postdisturbance environment differed in its influence or the two dominant species, Rubus allegheniensis and Phytolacca americana. Whereas R. allegheniensis recruitment did not differ between postdisturbance environments, significantly more P. americana seedlings emerged under more open conditions. Different proportions of P. americana seeds germinated from the two seed bank sources. These results show that a large portion of the seed bank remains ungerminated under natural disturbances, and the age and history of the component seeds may influence the regenerative function of seed banks in natural ecosystems.

LAURA A. HYATT "Differences between Seed Bank Composition and Field Recruitment in a Temperate Zone Deciduous Forest," The American Midland Naturalist 142(1), 31-38, (1 July 1999).[0031:DBSBCA]2.0.CO;2
Accepted: 1 October 1998; Published: 1 July 1999

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