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Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 4, Issue 9, pp 939–950 | Cite as

Permanent seed banks in chalk grassland under various management regimes: their role in the restoration of species-rich plant communities

  • Thierry Dutoit
  • Didier Alard
Papers

A survey was carried out on four stands of a chalk grassland (open, intensively grazed, tall and scrub) in order to monitor the permanent soil seed bank under various management regimes responsible for the decline of the ecological interest of this ecosystem. There was no real similarity between the seed banks and the associated vegetation, except in the intensively grazed stand. When vegetation changes, seed banks appear to be quite stable and are mostly dominated by three species (Centaurium erythraea, Origanum vulgare, Hypericum perforatum). The seed bank seems to be quite useless in order to restore a species-rich community after both grazing intensification or abandonment. Because recolonization processes are the critical factor, the management of species-rich grassland has to be designed with a view to preserving a given plant community as well as to improving dispersion processes from a source to target areas.

Keywords

chalk grassland soil seed bank vegetation succession plant-richness conservation management France 

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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thierry Dutoit
    • 1
  • Didier Alard
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire d'écologie, U.F.R. SciencesUniversité de RouenMont Saint Aignan CedexFrance

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