Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2014, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (1): 17-26.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2014.00002

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Characteristics of soil seed banks and their relationships with aboveground vegetation in ditches in the Sanjiang Plain

LIU Qing-Yan1,2, WANG Guo-Dong1,2, JIANG Ming1*, LÜ Xian-Guo1, and LOU Yan-Jing1   

  1. 1Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Environment, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China;

    2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2013-05-07 Revised:2013-11-21 Online:2014-01-15 Published:2014-01-01
  • Contact: JIANG Ming


Aims Ditches play an important role in preserving plant biodiversity. Our objective was to determine the characteristics of soil seed banks and their relationships with aboveground vegetation in ditches over different times in the Sanjiang Plain.
Methods Soil seed banks were investigated on different sites of ditches, and germination method was used to identify species composition of seed banks. Aboveground vegetation was investigated with quadrate method in ditches where seed banks were sampled.
Important findings Results showed that the seed density in the soil seed banks in ditches was generally high. Seed density on the banks of ditches was 8 973–25 000 seeds·m–2, higher than that in the sediments of ditches, which was 506–1 488 seeds·m–2. A total of 50 species were identified in the soil seed banks with the germination method, belonging to 41 genera in 20 families. The number of species found in the soil seed banks was 37, 34, and 33 in ditches with excavation time history of 10 years, 20 years, and 30 years, respectively, corresponding to 25, 33, and 22 species recorded in the aboveground vegetation. Similarity indexes for the comparison between soil seed banks and aboveground vegetation were 38.7%, 35.8%, 32.7%, respectively. Simpson index, Shannon-Wiener index and Pielou evenness index of aboveground vegetation increased with succession. According to this study, there are a large amount of wetland species in the soil seed bank and aboveground vegetation in ditches in the Sanjiang Plain, indicating that ditches play an important role in preserving plant biodiversity and that soil seed bank in ditches have potential to be used in wetland restoration. Plant community degradation with succession in ditches suggests that management of ditches should be strengthened.

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