Seed Longevity and Germination Characteristics of Six Fen Plant Species

Abstract

Fens are among the most threatened habitats in Europe as their area has decreased considerably in the last centuries. For successful management and restoration conservationists need detailed knowledge about seed bank formation and seed longevity of plants, as these features are closely related to successional and vegetation dynamical processes. I analysed seed longevity and the germination characteristics of six fen plant species by seed burial experiments. Based on seed weight, seed bank was expected for long-term persistent for the light-seeded Schoenus nigricans, Carex appropinquata, C. pseudocyperus, C. davalliana and Peucedanum palustre and also that for the medium-seeded Cicuta virosa. It was proved that, the latter two species have short-term persistent seed banks, while Carex pseudocyperus has a transient seed bank, therefore these species may only have a limited role in restoration from seed banks. It was found that Schoenus nigricans, Carex appropinquata and C. davalliana have persistent seed banks, because some of their four-year-old seeds have emerged. Fresh seeds had low germination rate in all studied species and majority of seeds emerged after winter, except for Carex pseudocyperus. After the germination peak in spring, the majority of the ungerminated seeds of Schoenus nigricans, Peucedanum palustre, Carex appropinquata, C. davalliana and Cicuta virosa entered a secondary dormancy phase that was broken in autumn. I found the seasonal emergence of the latter three species highly similar.

References

  1. 1.

    Bakker, J. P. (ed.) (1989) Nature Management by Grazing and Cutting. Geobotany 14. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp. 416.

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Baskin, C. C., Baskin, J. M. (1989) Physiology of dormancy and germination in relation to seed bank ecology. In: Leck, M. A., Parker, V. T., Simpson, R. L. (eds) Ecology of Soil Seed Banks. Academic Press, San Diego, pp. 53–66.

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Bekker, R. M., Bakker, J. P., Grandin, U., Kalamees, R., Milberg, P., Poschlod, P., Thompson, K., Willems, J. H. (1998) Seed size, shape and vertical distribution in the soil: indicators of seed longevity. Funct. Ecol. 12, 834–842.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Csontos, P. (2001) A természetes magbank kutatásának módszerei. [Methods of studying the natural seed bank.] Synbiol. Hung. 4. Scientia Kiadó, Budapest, pp. 1–155. (In Hungarian.)

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Csontos, P., Tams, J. (2003) Comparisons of soil seed bank classication systems. Seed Sci. Res. 13, 101–111.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Csontos, P. (2008) A bürök (Conium maculatum) terméseinek túlélése a talajban. [The survival of hemlock (Conium maculatum) seeds in the soil.] Növényvédelem, 44, 441–443. (In Hungarian.)

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Csontos, P., Tams, J., Balogh, L. (2003) Thousand-seed weight records of species from the flora of Hungary, I. Monocotyledonopsida. Studia Bot. Hung. 34, 121–126.

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Dobolyi, Z. K., Horváth, F., Lőkös, L., Szerdahelyi, T. (1994) Database of the Hungarian vascular plants (Hungplant). Studia Bot. Hung. 25, 85–90.

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Fenner, M. (1985) Seed Ecology. London, Chapman and Hall, pp. 151.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Grubb, P. J. (1988) The uncoupling of disturbance and recruitment, two kinds of seed bank, and persistence of plant populations at the regional and local scales. Ann. Zool. Fennici 25, 23–26.

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Harper, J. L. (1977) Population Biology of Plants. Academic Press, London, pp. 892.

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Lájer, K. (1998) Bevezetés a magyarországi lápok vegetációökológiájába. [Introduction to the vegetation ecology of Hungarian fens.] Tilia 6, 84–238. (In Hungarian.)

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Maron, J. L., Simms, E. L. (1997) Effect of seed predation on seed bank size and seedling recruitment of bush lupin (Lupinus arboreus). Oecologia 111, 76–83

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Matus, G., Verhagen, R., Bekker, R. M., Grootjans, A. P. (2003) Restoration of the Cirsio dissecti-Molinietum in The Netherlands: Can we rely on soil seed banks? Appl. Veget. Sci. 6, 73–84.

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Meyer, S. E., Monsen, S. B., McArthur, E. D. (1990) Germination response of Artemisia tridentata (Asteraceae) to light and chill, patterns of between-population variation. Bot. Gazette, 151, 176–183.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Schopp-Guth, A. (1997) Diasporenpotential intensiv genutzter Niedermoorböden Nordostdeutschlands–Chancen für die Renaturierung? Z. Ökol. Naturschutz 6, 97–109.

    Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Schütz, W. (1997) Are germination strategies important for the ability of cespitose wetland sedges (Carex) to grow in forests? Can. J. Bot. 75, 1692–1699.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Schütz, W., Rave, G. (1999) The effect of cold stratification and light on the seed germination of temperate sedges (Carex) from various habitats and implications for regenerative strategies. Plant Ecol. 144, 215–230.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Schütz, W. (2000) Ecology of seed dormancy and germination in sedges (Carex). Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evol. Syst. 3, 67–89.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Schrautzer, J., Rinker, A., Jensen, K., Müller, F., Schwartze, P., Dierßen, K. (2007) Succession and Restoration of Drained Fens: Perspectives from Northwestern Europe. In: Walker, L. R., Walker, J., Hobbs, R. J. (eds) Linking Restoration and Ecological Succession. Springer, New York, pp. 90–120.

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Succow, M. (1988) Landschaftökologische Moorkunde. Fischer Verlag, Jena, pp. 340.

    Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Thompson, K. (1993) Persistence in soil. In: Hendry, G. A. F., Grime, J. P. (eds) Methods in Comparative Plant Ecology: A Laboratory Manual. Chapman & Hall, London, pp. 199–202.

    Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Thompson, K., Bakker, J. P., Bekker, R. M. (1997) The Soil Seed Banks of Northwest Europe: Methodology, Density and Longevity. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 276.

    Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Valkó, O., Török, P., Tóthmérész, B., Matus, G. (2010) Restoration potential in seed banks of acidic fen and dry-mesophilous meadows: Can restoration be based on local seed banks? Rest. Ecol. (in press), DOI: 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2010.00679.x.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to S. Tatár.

Rights and permissions

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Tatár, S. Seed Longevity and Germination Characteristics of Six Fen Plant Species. BIOLOGIA FUTURA 61, 197–205 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1556/ABiol.61.2010.Suppl.19

Download citation

Keywords

  • Burial experiment
  • Carex appropinquata
  • Carex davalliana
  • Carex pseudocyperus
  • Cicuta virosa
  • Peucedanum palustre
  • Schoenus nigricans
  • seed bank