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Keywords:

  • colonization;
  • dispersal limitation;
  • dispersal mode;
  • landscape ecology;
  • seed mass;
  • species richness;
  • succession

Summary

  • 1
    We studied the effects of seed dispersal mode and seed mass on the migration patterns of woody and herbaceous forest species in an artificial pine forest band growing on a former sand dune. Seven sites in the artificial forest, at least 44 years old, were selected at different distances from an adjacent natural forest (0.1–17.4 km).
  • 2
    Both the species richness and the abundance of forest species decreased with increasing distance from the natural forest, indicating that the migration of forest species is limited by seed dispersal. Plants using different seed dispersal modes showed differences in migration rate.
  • 3
    Ingested and adhesive species migrated into the artificial forest with the most success. In contrast, almost all the species utilizing other dispersal mechanisms (wind, hoarding or no dispersal mechanism) migrated only into sites near to the natural forest. This is likely to be due to low dispersal capacities. Ant-dispersed species were not found at all in the artificial forest.
  • 4
    Migration distances were calculated for 43 species with a frequency of ≥ 5% in at least one site in the artificial forest. Distances were based on the occurrence of the individual of each species furthest from the natural forest, and on the maximum abundance of that species in the artificial forest. The migration distances of the species did not correlate with their seed mass.
  • 5
    The dispersal efficiency is an important factor in migration of forest species on a landscape scale, and the migration ability is affected by dispersal mode rather than seed mass.