Spatial patterns in seed bank and vegetation of semi-natural mountain meadows
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- Reiné, R., Chocarro, C. & Fillat, F. Plant Ecol (2006) 186: 151. doi:10.1007/s11258-006-9119-2
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Soil seed bank composition and vegetative spatial patterns were studied in four mountain meadow communities in the Broto Valley (N. Spain), in order to analyse the differences that might exists between the two life forms. Soil and vegetation samples were taken at 1 m intervals from 10 m × 10 m quadrats in each meadow in one-year study. The spatial distribution of species was analysed along with the calculation of an autocorrelation coefficient which takes account of the relative position of samples: (Moran’s I). The results indicate that the abundance of the majority of the species in the seed bank and in the vegetation are randomly distributed, the percentage of species with a clumped distribution only exceeds 35% in the vegetation of one meadow and none of the taxa identified showed a uniform spatial organisation. The species that were distributed in the seed bank in a clumped pattern in more than one meadow were those of the pioneer species (Anagallis arvensis, Centaurium erythraea, Lamium purpureum and Stellaria media). All of these formed long-term persistent seed banks but were absent in the established vegetation in these meadows. According to the results, there exist not only differences between the spatial distribution of the species present in the same community, but also, that some species change their pattern of distribution according to the life form and to the grassland type in which they are found.