Soil Seed Bank Dynamics in Tithonia diversifolia Dominated Fallowland Vegetation in Ile-Ife Area of Southwestern Nigeria
Keywords:Invasive species; fallowland; seedling emergence; soil seed bank; Tithonia diversifolia
The soil seedbank of Tithonia diversifolia, an invasive species which dominates open waste fallowland vegetation was studied. Two different roadside sites which vary in extent of open waste land were selected.The species composition of the established vegetation was assessed in the two diferent sites. Twenty top soil samples were collected at five different distances (15 cm, 30 cm, 45 cm, 60 cm, and 75 cm) inwards away from each main road in dry and rainy seasons and the seed bank composition was determined by greenhouse germination over a 6 month period. The similarity between the composition of the seed bank flora and that of the established vegetation was low. The least and the highest emerged seedlings density was recorded in the 15 metres and 75 metres respectively inwards away from the main road in both seasons. The results of the seedlings emergence is a reflection of the extent of open waste land dominated by the invasive species due to human disturbance (road construction) on both sites. Overall results suggest that the emergence of the species from the soil seed bank may be due to the impact of the invasive species Tithonia diversifolia on other plant species in the study environment.
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