The importance of the soil seed bank for the restoration of plant communities


A last important research topic concerns the importance of the soil seed bank for the restoration of plant communities. One of the mechanisms which typically affects the viability of plant populations isolated in habitat fragments is a reduced seed exchange between populations. Restoration success of the plant community on these sites depends on the availability of seeds of target species. Populations of target species can establish through seed dispersal from other grassland fragments or through germination of seeds present in the soil seed bank. Since spontaneous seed dispersal between fragments is unlikely to occur on spatially isolated fragments, recreation success will be mainly determined by the species composition of the seeds present in the soil. In stable grasslands, recolonization of larger gaps is to a large extent based on germination from the soil seed bank. Therefore the importance of the seed bank will be even larger on sites where recreation management such as scrub or forest clearance causes large scale disturbances. Knowledge of the seed bank composition is hence a crucial factor in the recreation process. Seed bank studies were executed on several ecosystems, including forests, dune slacks, acid dune grassland and calcareous grassland to assess the potential contribution of the soil seed bank in the re-establishment of the plant community.



Name Role Start End
Matheve, Hans admin
Bossuyt, Beatrijs promotor


Name Role Start End
Terrestrial Ecology leader

created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:web

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