Astroturf seed traps for studying hydrochory

Authors

  • M. Wolters,

    Corresponding author
    1. Community and Conservation Ecology Group, University of Groningen, PO Box 14, NL-9750 AA Haren, the Netherlands, and
    2. Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Monks Wood, Abbots Ripton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28 2LS, UK
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  • J. Geertsema,

    1. Community and Conservation Ecology Group, University of Groningen, PO Box 14, NL-9750 AA Haren, the Netherlands, and
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  • E. R. Chang,

    1. Community and Conservation Ecology Group, University of Groningen, PO Box 14, NL-9750 AA Haren, the Netherlands, and
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  • R. M. Veeneklaas,

    1. Community and Conservation Ecology Group, University of Groningen, PO Box 14, NL-9750 AA Haren, the Netherlands, and
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  • P. D. Carey,

    1. Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Monks Wood, Abbots Ripton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28 2LS, UK
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  • J. P. Bakker

    1. Community and Conservation Ecology Group, University of Groningen, PO Box 14, NL-9750 AA Haren, the Netherlands, and
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†Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: m.wolters@biol.rug.nl

Summary

  • 1Astroturf mats can effectively trap diaspores dispersed by tidal water.
  • 2Within four tidal inundations, up to 745 propagules per m2 and between three and eight different species per astroturf mat were trapped. Overall, 15 different species were collected on the astroturf mats, 10 of which were also present in the local vegetation. The other five species must have come from further away, making the method also suitable for studying long-distance dispersal.
  • 3The seed-retaining ability of the astroturf did not differ significantly for species with different seed characteristics.
  • 4The method will be useful for assessing actual seed dispersal at specific sites and over specific periods of time, and has particular relevance in predicting and evaluating the success of ecological restoration projects.

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