Regeneration of native vascular plants facilitated by Ischaemum aristatum var. glaucum tussocks: an experimental demonstration
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Facilitation of a perennial tussock grass, Ischaemum aristatum var. glaucum, was hypothesized to be the provision of germination safe sites against inundation. We conducted field census and seed addition experiments to test this hypothesis. Facilitation effects of I. aristatum var. glaucum tussocks were obvious; in contrast to 280 seedlings/m2 of ten native species observed on tussocks, seedlings hardly emerged on bare ground, even after seed addition. Although effects of moss occurrence at tussocks were not significant on the total number or species richness of emerged seedlings, significantly positive effects were observed on the seedling survival of some species, including endangered species. Conservation of facilitators will efficiently ensure the regeneration success of native vascular plants.