Relationships between the developments of seedbank, standing vegetation and litter in a post-mined peatland
To clarify seedbank developmental pattern and its determinants, we examined relationships between seedbank, standing vegetation, and litter in a post-mined peatland on Sarobetsu Mire, northern Japan. In late fall 2006 and early summer 2007, peat was sampled from four vegetation types, and litter was also sampled from two of the four vegetations where thick litter was accumulated. Seed germination tests were performed by the samples in a glasshouse. The results were compared between the standing vegetation and litter accumulation. Seed density and species richness in seedbank gradually increased with increasing vegetation cover. Seeds in surface layer germinated more in fall than in summer. In vegetation with thick litter, small seeds, such as Drosera rotundifolia and Gentiana triflora, germinated more from peat than from litter in summer, probably due to the downward movement. Seed density in litter decreased from fall to the next summer. Moliniopsis japonica and Rhynchospora alba developed short-term persistent seedbank, whereas D. rotundifolia and G. triflora preserved long-term persistent seedbank in peat covered with thick litter. Seedbank development follows the development of the standing vegetation with litter. Litter derived from the standing vegetation is a prime determinant on the seedbank composition and development, by acting as seed trap and keeping seed dormancy.
KeywordsLitter Post-mined peatland Seedbank Standing vegetation Revegetation
We thank A. Nishimura and all members in our lab for various supports, and M. Nakajima for her hearty songs. We are grateful to the staff members of the Ministry of Environment of Japan, and Toyotomi Town Office for permission and support on the research, and F. Kobari in CAST for technical help on the glasshouse experiments. This work is partly supported by grants from JSPS.
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