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Community dynamics of evergreen broadleaf forests in southwestern Japan. II. Species composition and density of seeds buried in the soil of a climax evergreen oak forest

Abstract

The species composition and density of seeds in the soil of a climax evergeen oak forest in the Kasugayama Forest Reserve, Nara, Japan were studied by directly extracting seeds from soil samples and using soil samples in planting boxes as the basis of germination tests.

A total of 33 species were identified from all seeds collected in 6 stands: 11 evergreen broadleaf, 15 deciduous broadleaf, 2 coniferous, 2 liana, 1 herb, and 2 grass species. Species producing sap fruits and dry fruits accounted for 60% and 40% of the total number of species, respectively. The species composition of all the seeds was independent of the species composition of the forest vegetation. The mean density of the seeds was 22,134 seeds/m2·5 cm.Eurya japonica, of which seeds were found in all soil samples, was the most abundant species, followed byCryptomeria japonica, Ilex micrococca, andBoehmeria longispica. Pioneer species such asMallotus japonicus, Zanthoxylum ailanthoides, andAralia elata were found in all soil samples in spite of the paucity of adult trees in the forest. Seeds of evergreen oaks were relatively aboundant but no viable seeds were found. ViableE. japonica, I. micrococca, Symplocos prunifolia, andB. longispica seeds were abundant.

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Abbreviations

ha:

hectare (=10,000 m2)

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Naka, K., Yoda, K. Community dynamics of evergreen broadleaf forests in southwestern Japan. II. Species composition and density of seeds buried in the soil of a climax evergreen oak forest. Bot. Mag. Tokyo 97, 61–79 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02488147

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Key words

  • Buried seeds
  • Evergreen oak forest
  • Regeneration pattern
  • Seed dispersal
  • Seed dormancy
  • Seed germination