Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract Full Text

Soil seed bank size and composition under Pteridium aquilinum invasion in summer rangelands of Bandpay Babol, Mazandaran province.

Abstract

Pteridium aquilinum is known as an invasive species in different ecosystems of the world. The spread of this species is increasing in the north of Iran particularly outside of forest ecosystems. In this study, the amount and composition of soil seed banks in the dense pathes of Pteridium were investigated in summer rangelands of Bandpay in the south of Babol city in Mazandaran province, Iran. Soil seed bank sampling was done before the growing season in five vegetation types invaded by Pteridium including beech forest, shrubland dominated by Crataegus meyeri, shrubland dominated by Berberis vulgaris-Crataegus meyeri, rangeland and an uninvaded rangelan. Soil samples were kept in glasshouse and seedlings were identified and counted. The results showed that the mean density of soil seed bank in invaded rangeland was about 2900 seeds/m2 and this was significantly graeter than that in other invaded vegetation types and uninvaded rangeland. The dominant species in the soil seed bank were Spergularia bocconi, Stellaria media, Plantago lanceolata, Trifolium sp., and Poa annua. A total of 24 species were restricted to the soil seed bank of invaded sites. Despite the impact of Pteridium invasion on seed bank composition and size, the soil seed bank diversity and richness was not significantly different between invaded and uninvaded sites. A low seed density of grasses and palatable species were found in the soil seed bank (about 6.5% of total seed bank), therefore it is not possible to rely on soil seed bank for restoration of thses invaded sites following Pteridium control.