Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Seed persistence in the soil on eroded slopes in the hilly-gullied Loess Plateau region, China

  • Ning Wang (a1) (a2), Ju-Ying Jiao (a1), Yan-Feng Jia (a1) (a2) and Dong-Li Wang (a1)

Abstract

The soil seed-bank is an important component of vegetation dynamics. Its presence affects both ecosystem resistance and resilience. A persistent seed-bank is especially important in disturbed habitats and harsh environments. In the hilly-gullied Loess Plateau region, serious soil erosion causes decreases in soil water capacity and constrains vegetation recolonization. A stable and long-term persistent soil seed-bank is necessary for natural vegetation recolonization. We used an integrated measure of the depth distribution of seeds in the soil and the seasonal dynamics of soil seed-banks to analyse the persistence of seeds in soil and to investigate the correlation of seed longevity with seed size/shape and the species' life history. The results showed a significant tendency for small seeds and seeds of annuals/biennials to persist longer in soil than large seeds and seeds of perennials. However, seed shape was not related to persistence. The main dominant speciesArtemisia scoparia, Lespedeza davurica, Heteropappus altaicus, Stipa bungeana, Artemisia gmelinii, and Bothriochloa ischaemun in the different successional stages in this region can form a persistent and stable soil seed-bank. The pioneer species A. scoparia is especially significant because it can form a large, long-term, persistent seed-bank. These species can play a role in the recolonization of the eroded abandoned slope lands by vegetation.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Correspondence Email: jyjiao@ms.iswc.ac.cn

References

Hide All
Bakker, J.P. and Berendse, F. (1999) Constraints in the restoration of ecological diversity in grassland and heathland communities. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 14, 6368.
Bakker, J.P., Poschlod, P., Strykstra, R.J., Bekker, R.M. and Thompson, K. (1996) Seed banks and seed dispersal: important topics in restoration ecology. Acta Botanica Neerlandica 45, 461490.
Bekker, R.M., Bakker, J.P., Grandin, U., Kalamees, R., Milberg, P., Poschlod, P., Thompson, K. and Willems, J.H. (1998) Seed size, shape and vertical distribution in the soil: indicators of seed longevity. Functional Ecology 12, 834842.
Caballero, I., Olano, J.M., Luzuriaga, A.L. and Escudero, A. (2005) Spatial coherence between seasonal seed banks in a semi-arid gypsum community: density changes but structure does not. Seed Science Research 15, 153160.
Cao, S., Chen, L. and Yu, X. (2009) Impact of China's Grain for Green Project on the landscape of vulnerable arid and semi-arid agricultural regions: a case study in northern Shaanxi Province. Journal of Applied Ecology 46, 536543.
Cerabolini, B., Ceriani, R.M., Caccianiga, M., Andreis, R.D. and Raimondi, B. (2003) Seed size, shape and persistence in soil: a test on Italian flora from Alps to Mediterranean coasts. Seed Science Research 13, 7585.
Chambers, J.C. and MacMahon, J.A. (1994) A day in the life of a seed: movements and fates of seeds and their implications for natural and managed systems. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 25, 263292.
Chen, H.S. (2003) Study on soil water movement and its cycling on a hillslope of the Loess Plateau. Northwest A & F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China.
Cipriotti, P.A., Flombaum, P., Sala, O.E. and Aguiar, M.R. (2008) Does drought control emergence and survival of grass seedlings in semi-arid rangelands? An example with a Patagonian species. Journal of Arid Environments 72, 162174.
Davies, A. and Waite, S. (1998) The persistence of calcareous grassland species in the soil seed bank under developing and established scrub. Plant Ecology 136, 2739.
Du, F., Shao, H.-B., Shan, L., Liang, Z.-S. and Shao, M.-A. (2007) Secondary succession and its effects on soil moisture and nutrition in abandoned old-fields of hilly region of Loess Plateau, China. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 58, 278285.
Falińska, K. (1999) Seed bank dynamics in abandoned meadows during a 20-year period in the Bialowieza National Park. Journal of Ecology 87, 461475.
Fenner, M. (2000) Seeds. The ecology of regeneration in plant communities (2nd edition). Wallingford, UK, CAB International.
Funes, G., Basconcelo, S., Díaz, S. and Cabido, M. (1999) Seed size and shape are good predictors of seed persistence in soil in temperate mountain grasslands of Argentina. Seed Science Research 9, 341345.
Funes, G., Basconcelo, S., Diaz, S. and Cabido, M. (2001) Edaphic patchiness influences grassland regeneration from the soil seed-bank in mountain grasslands of central Argentina. Austral Ecology 26, 205212.
García-Fayos, P., García-Ventoso, B. and Cerdà, A. (2000) Limitations to plant establishment on eroded slopes in southeastern Spain. Journal of Vegetation Science 11, 7786.
Gardarin, A., Duerr, C., Mannino, M.R., Busset, H. and Colbach, N. (2010) Seed mortality in the soil is related to seed coat thickness. Seed Science Research 20, 243256.
Gutiérrez, J.R. and Meserve, P.L. (2003) El Niño effects on soil seed bank dynamics in north-central Chile. Oecologia 134, 511517.
Harper, J.L. (1977) Population biology of plants. New York, USA, Academic Press.
Jiao, J., Tzanopoulos, J., Xofis, P., Bai, W., Ma, X. and Mitchley, J. (2007) Can the study of natural vegetation succession assist in the control of soil erosion on abandoned croplands on the Loess Plateau, China? Restoration Ecology 15, 391399.
Jiao, J.Y., Zhang, Z.G., Jia, Y.F., Wang, N. and Bai, W.J. (2008) Species composition and classification of natural vegetation in the abandoned lands of the hilly-gullied region of North Shaanxi Province. Acta Ecologica Sinica 28, 29812997.
Kirmer, A. and Mahn, E.-G. (2001) Spontaneous and initiated succession on unvegetated slopes in the abandoned lignite-mining area of Goitsche, Germany. Applied Vegetation Science 4, 1927.
Kleyer, M. (1999) Distribution of plant functional types along gradients of disturbance intensity and resource supply in an agricultural landscape. Journal of Vegetation Science 10, 697708.
Leishman, M.R. and Westoby, M. (1998) Seed size and shape are not related to persistence in soil in Australia in the same way as in Britain. Functional Ecology 12, 480485.
Luzuriaga, A.L., Escudero, A., Olano, J.M. and Loidi, J. (2005) Regenerative role of seed banks following an intense soil disturbance. Acta Oecologica 27, 5766.
Major, J. and Pyott, W.T. (1966) Buried, viable seeds in two California bunchgrass sites and their bearing on the definition of a flora. Plant Ecology 13, 253282.
Moles, A.T., Hodson, D.W. and Webb, C.J. (2000) Seed size and shape and persistence in the soil in the New Zealand flora. Oikos 89, 541545.
Ortega, M., Levassor, C. and Peco, B. (1997) Seasonal dynamics of Mediterranean pasture seed banks along environmental gradients. Journal of Biogeography 24, 177195.
Peco, B., Traba, J., Levassor, C., Sánchez, A.M. and Azcárate, F.M. (2003) Seed size, shape and persistence in dry Mediterranean grass and scrublands. Seed Science Research 13, 8795.
Schwinning, S. and Sala, O.E. (2004) Hierarchy of responses to resource pulses in arid and semi-arid ecosystems. Oecologia 141, 211220.
Soons, M.B. and Bullock, J.M. (2008) Non-random seed abscission, long-distance wind dispersal and plant migration rates. Journal of Ecology 96, 581590.
Stöcklin, J. and Fischer, M. (1999) Plants with longer-lived seeds have lower local extinction rates in grassland remnants 1950–1985. Oecologia 120, 539543.
Tekle, K. and Bekele, T. (2000) The role of soil seed banks in the rehabilitation of degraded hillslopes in southern Wello, Ethiopia. Biotropica 32, 2332.
TerHeerdt, G.N.J., Verweij, G.L. and Bekker, R.M. (1996) An improved method for seed-bank analysis: seedling emergence after removing the soil by sieving. Functional Ecology 10, 245248.
Thompson, K. (1987) Seeds and seed banks. New Phytologist 106, 2334.
Thompson, K. (2000) The functional ecology of soil seed banks. pp. 215235 in Fenner, M. (Ed.) Seeds. The ecology of regeneration in plant communities (2nd edition). Wallingford, UK, CAB International.
Thompson, K. and Grime, J.P. (1979) Seasonal variation in the seed banks of herbaceous species in ten contrasting habitats. Journal of Ecology 67, 893921.
Thompson, K., Band, S.R. and Hodgson, J.G. (1993) Seed size and shape predict persistence in soil. Functional Ecology 7, 236241.
Thompson, K., Bakker, J.P., Bekker, R.M. and Hodgson, J.G. (1998) Ecological correlates of seed persistence in soil in the north-west European flora. Journal of Ecology 86, 163169.
Thompson, K., Jalili, A., Hodgson, J.G., Hamzeh'ee, B., Asri, Y., Shaw, S., Shirvany, A., Yazdani, S., Khoshnevis, M., Zarrinkamar, F., Ghahramani, M.-A. and Safavi, R. (2001) Seed size, shape and persistence in the soil in an Iranian flora. Seed Science Research 11, 345355.
Tischew, S. and Kirmer, A. (2007) Implementation of basic studies in the ecological restoration of surface-mined land. Restoration Ecology 15, 321325.
Uhl, C., Clark, K., Clark, H. and Murphy, P. (1981) Early plant succession after cutting and burning in the Upper Rio Negro region of the Amazon Basin. Journal of Ecology 69, 631649.
Wei, J., Zhou, J., Tian, J., He, X. and Tang, K. (2006) Decoupling soil erosion and human activities on the Chinese Loess Plateau in the 20th century. Catena 68, 1015.
Yu, S., Sternberg, M., Kutiel, P. and Chen, H. (2007) Seed mass, shape, and persistence in the soil seed bank of Israeli coastal sand dune flora. Evolutionary Ecology Research 9, 325340.
Zhang, J.T. (2005) Succession analysis of plant communities in abandoned croplands in the eastern Loess Plateau of China. Journal of Arid Environments 63, 458474.
Zhang, Q.J., Fu, B.J., Chen, L.D., Zhao, W.W., Yang, Q.K., Liu, G.B. and Gulinck, H. (2004 a) Dynamics and driving factors of agricultural landscape in the semiarid hilly area of the Loess Plateau, China. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 103, 533543.
Zhang, X., Shao, M., Li, S. and Peng, K. (2004 b) A review of soil and water conservation in China. Journal of Geographical Sciences 14, 259274.
Zhao, L.-P., Wu, G.-l. and Cheng, J.-M. (2011) Seed mass and shape are related to persistence in a sandy soil in northern China. Seed Science Research 21, 4753.
Zheng, F.L. (2006) Effect of vegetation changes on soil erosion on the loess plateau. Pedosphere 16, 420427.
Zhou, Z.C., Shangguan, Z.P. and Zhao, D. (2006) Modeling vegetation coverage and soil erosion in the Loess Plateau Area of China. Ecological Modelling 198, 263268.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Seed Science Research
  • ISSN: 0960-2585
  • EISSN: 1475-2735
  • URL: /core/journals/seed-science-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed