Vegetation development in dune slacks: the role of persistent seed banks
Article first published online: 24 FEB 2009
1999 IAVS - the International Association of Vegetation Science
Journal of Vegetation Science
Volume 10, Issue 5, pages 745–754, October 1999
How to Cite
Bekker, R.M., Lammerts, E.J., Schutter, A. and Grootjans, A.P. (1999), Vegetation development in dune slacks: the role of persistent seed banks. Journal of Vegetation Science, 10: 745–754. doi: 10.2307/3237090
- Issue published online: 24 FEB 2009
- Article first published online: 24 FEB 2009
- Received 14 April 1998; Revision received 19 February 1999; Accepted 1 March 1999.
- Littorella uniflora;
- Schoenus nigricans;
- Seed longevity;
- van der Meijden (1990) for vascular plants;
- Schaminée et al. (1995) for plant communities
Abstract. The soil seed bank composition was determined at four sites in the dune slack ‘Koegelwieck’ on the Dutch Wadden Sea island of Terschelling. At three different sites in the slack, where sod-cutting experiments down to the mineral sand had been carried out, the established vegetation and seed bank were assessed after 5, 9 and 39 yr of undisturbed development, respectively. In addition, a fourth site in the slack was investigated, where vegetation development had proceeded for 80 yr since plant colonization of bare soil and where nowadays a vegetation dominated by Calamagrostis epigejos and Salix repens occurs. Together these four sites can be regarded as a chronosequence of dune slack formation.
Clear time sequences were detected in the seed bank data. Many late successional species showed a significant increase in the number of seeds during the succession. Some of the early successional basiphilous pioneer species such as Anagallis minima, Centaurium littorale, Littorella uniflora, Radiola linoides and Samolus valerandi, showed either a decrease during the time of succession or an optimum in the vegetation while remaining present in the seed bank in low but detectable numbers. They could, therefore, play a role in re-establishment of the vegetation after sod-cutting. One of the target species, Schoenus nigricans, established within a few years after removal of the sod. However, no seeds of this species have been detected in the soil below either of the successional stages. Based on the species disappearance from the established vegetation and based on the independent data of Thompson et al. (1997) an estimation of seed longevity could be made for several Red List species of wet dune slacks.