Ecological Research

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 661–667 | Cite as

Safe sites for establishment of Nymphoides peltata seedlings for recovering the population from the soil seed bank

  • Shinichi TakagawaEmail author
  • Jun Nishihiro
  • Izumi Washitani
Original Article


The population of the endangered plant species Nymphoides peltata in Lake Kasumigaura, Japan, has been declining drastically recently, and seedlings that emerge from the remaining soil seed bank have entirely failed to establish. The decline has followed artificial control of the water level in the lake. To examine the environmental requirements at the seedling establishment stage, we investigated the survival and growth of emerged seedlings at various microsites on the lakeshore by manipulating environmental conditions such as exposure to waves, inundation, and light availability so as to include the conditions of the presumed safe sites. Seedling survival at the early stage was affected most by environmental variables relating to the susceptibility to inundation. Survival until seedling establishment was profoundly affected by light availability as well as by susceptibility to inundation. In all, 136 genets were established in quadrats less prone to inundation and with sufficient light availability, which is consistent with the presumed safe-site characteristics of the original water regime: bare ground exposed during the spring water-level drawdown. Recovering the original water regime with seasonal drawdown will be indispensable for recovering a self-sustainable population. However, as first-aid measures, active restoration efforts through adaptive management using the remnant soil seed bank are urgently needed before the soil seed bank becomes exhausted.


Seedling establishment Soil seed bank Restoration Endangered plant Adaptive management 



We thank the Kasumigaura River Office, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Government of Japan, for providing the water-level data of the lake. This research was partly supported by a Grant-in-Aid from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (no. 15710173).


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Copyright information

© The Ecological Society of Japan 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shinichi Takagawa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jun Nishihiro
    • 1
  • Izumi Washitani
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Agricultural and Life SciencesThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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