Role of seed banks in the dynamics of desert communities
Sub-tropical deserts of Karachi, Pakistan are dominated by perennial shrubs and grasses, usually in a mono-specific stands. Seed bank dynamics of three stands about a kilometer away from the coast were selected and monitored for 2 years. These stands were dominated by Atriplex stocksii, Cyperus arenarius and Cressa cretica, respectively, with few individuals of other species in each stand. Soil analysis of the C. arenarius community showed seeds of A. stocksii and C. arenarius were present throughout both of the seasons; however, only A. stocksii maintained a persistent seed bank that had some relationship with the aboveground vegetation. The C. cretica dominated community had a substantial presence of C. arenarius seed in the soil with some seeds of C. cretica, Salsola imbricata and A. stocksii. However, C. cretica maintained a small persistent seed bank showing a close relationship between seed bank and vegetation. A. stocksii maintained a large persistent seed bank during both seasons indicating a good seed bank-vegetation relationship.
KeywordsSalt Marsh Seed Bank Aboveground Vegetation Perennial Shrub Persistent Seed Bank
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