The relationship between the seed bank and species composition of plant communities in two British salt marshes

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Abstract

The composition of the seed bank was compared with that of the above-ground vegetation in two British salt marshes. Vegetation and seed banks were sampled in autumn and spring. There was a relatively low correlation between seed bank and vegetation in most perennial-dominated zones. Percentage annual plant cover was significantly positively correlated to percentage similarity value between vegetation and seed bank. Cluster analysis indicated that the zones dominated by annuals and by Suaeda vera on the ungrazed Nod Marsh in Norfolk formed groups between seed bank and vegetation, whereas on the Llanrhidian Marsh in Wales the seed bank of four of the six zones formed a group.

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