Soil Seed Bank Dynamics of a Riparian Forest and its Adjacent Upland Vegetation
Keywords:depth; re-vegetation; riparian forest; soil seed bank; species diversity
The present study was conducted to determine the densities and soil seed bank composition of a riparian forest and its adjacent upland vegetation for a better understanding the potentials of the soil seed banks in facilitating succession towards a more natural forest of native tree species. Three contiguous 20 m x 20 m plots were systematically established on both riparian forest and upland vegetation. Species enumeration, identification and distribution into families of the standing vegetation were carried out. Furthermore, five replicates soil samples were collected at two different depths (0-15 cm, 15-30 .The seedling emergence test was carried out for six months in the greenhouse to determine the species composition and the density of the seed in both vegetation types. The results of the seedling emergence revealed that more seeds were deposited at the upper depth (0-15 cm) than the lower depth 15-30 cm in the two vegetation types in both dry and rainy season. There was low similarity in species composition between the standing vegetation and soil seed bank in each of the two vegetation types. Herbaceous species recorded the highest number of seedlings as compared to the other habit. The low similarity between seed bank and standing vegetation of the riparian forest and the adjacent upland vegetation suggested that soil seed bank was insignificant in their restoration.
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