TITLE

Large Sample Area and Size Are Needed for Forest Soil Seed Bank Studies to Ensure Low Discrepancy with Standing Vegetation

AUTHOR(S)
Shen, You-xin; Liu, Wei-li; Li, Yu-hui; Guan, Hui-lin
PUB. DATE
August 2014
SOURCE
PLoS ONE;Aug2014, Vol. 9 Issue 8, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
A large number of small-sized samples invariably shows that woody species are absent from forest soil seed banks, leading to a large discrepancy with the seedling bank on the forest floor. We ask: 1) Does this conventional sampling strategy limit the detection of seeds of woody species? 2) Are large sample areas and sample sizes needed for higher recovery of seeds of woody species? We collected 100 samples that were 10 cm (length) ×10 cm (width) ×10 cm (depth), referred to as larger number of small-sized samples (LNSS) in a 1 ha forest plot, and placed them to germinate in a greenhouse, and collected 30 samples that were 1 m×1 m×10 cm, referred to as small number of large-sized samples (SNLS) and placed them (10 each) in a nearby secondary forest, shrub land and grass land. Only 15.7% of woody plant species of the forest stand were detected by the 100 LNSS, contrasting with 22.9%, 37.3% and 20.5% woody plant species being detected by SNLS in the secondary forest, shrub land and grassland, respectively. The increased number of species vs. sampled areas confirmed power-law relationships for forest stand, the LNSS and SNLS at all three recipient sites. Our results, although based on one forest, indicate that conventional LNSS did not yield a high percentage of detection for woody species, but SNLS strategy yielded a higher percentage of detection for woody species in the seed bank if samples were exposed to a better field germination environment. A 4 m2 minimum sample area derived from power equations is larger than the sampled area in most studies in the literature. Increased sample size also is needed to obtain an increased sample area if the number of samples is to remain relatively low.
ACCESSION #
97802415

 

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