Badlands, Seed Banks, and Community Disassembly

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Rangeland Ecology & Management


Soil seed banks are a key component of ecological resilience as they provide a temporal reserve for plant species richness and diversity. Soil seed banks depend on on-site reproduction, seed longevity, and seed immigration for maintenance. When immigration of seeds is lost due to a change in land use or a disturbance, such as fragmentation, seed banks rely on on-site reproduction and longevity for maintenance. Within a fragment without seed immigration, seed banks become vulnerable to extinction debt leading to community disassembly over a long time scale. Therefore, we investigated how long-term fragmentation impacts community disassembly in seed banks. Seed bank samples were taken from grassland fragments (sod tables, n = 28) and from the surrounding area (matrix, n = 28). Seed banks were germinated, and emerging plants were identified. We found that community disassembly was not predictable in regard to species identity, and specialist (P...) (see full abstract in article).


Fragmentation; Grassland; Great Plains; Resilience; Specialist species; Species diversity


Biodiversity | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology



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