Morris, K. (corresponding author, email@example.com); Raulings, E.J. (firstname.lastname@example.org); Mac Nally, R. (email@example.com) & Thompson, R.M. (firstname.lastname@example.org): Australian Centre for Biodiversity, School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia Melbourne, W.H. (email@example.com): Department of Mechanical Engineering, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia and MEL Consultants Pty Ltd, 34 Cleeland Road, South Oakleigh, VIC 3167, Australia
A novel trap for quantifying the dispersal of seeds by wind
Article first published online: 19 APR 2011
© 2011 International Association for Vegetation Science
Journal of Vegetation Science
Volume 22, Issue 5, pages 807–817, October 2011
How to Cite
Morris, K., Raulings, E. J., Melbourne, W. H., Mac Nally, R. and Thompson, R. M. (2011), A novel trap for quantifying the dispersal of seeds by wind. Journal of Vegetation Science, 22: 807–817. doi: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2011.01290.x
Co-ordinating Editor: Beverly Collins
- Issue published online: 1 SEP 2011
- Article first published online: 19 APR 2011
- Received 31 October 2010, Accepted 25 February 2011
- Lachnagrostis filiformis;
- Seed dispersal;
- Seed traps;
- Wetland plants
Question: Understanding the aerial movement of seed is of great significance to the management of native and invasive plant species, but has proven difficult to measure. Here we examine how a more quantitative approach to measuring the aerial movement of seed can be achieved.
Location: SE Australia.
Methods: We describe a novel seed trap (the ‘Melbourne trap’), for which the proportion of free-stream airflow through the trap can be measured, allowing a more quantitative approach to measuring aerial seed movement. We assessed airflow through the Melbourne trap in a wind tunnel and describe how this information, along with measurements of wind speed and direction, can now be used to derive seed density per volume of airflow. We compare the seed capture and retention efficiency of the Melbourne trap with two simpler and cheaper trap designs, bucket traps and sticky traps.
Results: Melbourne and bucket traps captured significantly more species than sticky traps. Seed catch was dominated numerically by Lachnagrostis filiformis (G. Forst.) Trin. Melbourne traps proved more effective than sticky traps, but not bucket traps, in capturing L. filiformis, based on intake area. For all other seeds, Melbourne traps were more effective than both bucket and sticky traps.
Conclusion: The Melbourne trap design is a significant advance in quantifying seed dispersal by wind. Melbourne traps will improve the capacity and accuracy of studies that seek to: (i) quantify seed fluxes across landscapes boundaries; (ii) assess directionality of dispersal; (iii) understand processes controlling seed release; and (iv) compare dispersal in wind and water.