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The impact of vertic soil cracks on submerged macrophyte diaspore bank depth distribution in Mediterranean temporary wetlands

AuthorsEspinar, José L. ; Clemente Salas, Luis
Riella helicophylla
Soil dispersion
Seed bank
Spores bank
Secondary dispersal
Issue Date2007
CitationAquatic Botany 87: 325–328 (2007)
AbstractIn temporary wetlands, a majority of diaspores are located in the upper layers of the soil. In general, it is assumed that the vertical movement of diaspores is caused by animal disturbance, and that reduction in this activity concentrates the diaspores in the topsoil. The occurrence of seasonal cracks and the dispersion of topsoil during dry periods are processes that have been underestimated in diaspore bank studies. Our results indicated that diaspore size can partially explain the density of diaspores of submerged macrophytes observed at four discrete soil depths in Doñana National Park temporary marshes (SW Spain). The top layers of the soil exhibit the largest number of species. Spore density of Riella spp., a liverwort, increases with depth, creating an important reserve of viable diaspores in deep soil. Downward movement of diaspores in soil cracks during dry periods, and the extended longevity of Riella diaspores together explain this inverse depth distribution.
Description4 pages, 2 tables, 18 references. We thank J.M. Espinar and E. Gutiérrez for field and laboratory assistance, and L.V. García for help with soil salinity data. Thanks to E.A. Middleton and M.S. Ross for the critical review of the manuscript.
Director del trabajo: Espinar, José L.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aquabot.2007.06.007/
Appears in Collections:(IRNAS) Artículos
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