TITLE

Alvar seed bank germination responses to variable soil moisture

AUTHOR(S)
Lundholm, Jeremy T.; Stark, Kaeli E.
PUB. DATE
October 2007
SOURCE
Canadian Journal of Botany;Oct2007, Vol. 85 Issue 10, p986
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Environmental heterogeneity can create differential opportunities for seedling recruitment among plant species. We collected soil seed banks from alvar habitats in southern Ontario and exposed them to three soil moisture treatments. Density and species richness of germinants were greatest in treatments kept moist compared with treatments where soil was either saturated with standing water at the soil surface or where drought was imposed. Contrary to previous studies, the drought treatment did not stimulate the germination of species that remained ungerminated in other treatments, but did increase the germination of five species that also germinated in wetter soils. Although 12 of the 40 species germinated in only one of the three treatments, overall community composition among watering treatments was relatively consistent; few species showed evidence of differential responses to soil moisture conditions. Variability in soil moisture in this system can alter population and community properties by rarefaction effects, as opposed to niche differences among species.
ACCESSION #
28534475

 

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