A comparison of vegetation and seed bank community structure in a sand prairie in Illinois, U.S.A

Molly B. McNicoll, Carol K Augspurger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Knowledge of both the vegetation and soil seed bank of a community is necessary to understand species storage and regeneration potential. Species composition and abundance were assessed in Thomson-Fulton Sand Prairie in northwestern Illinois, U.S.A. Species richness, evenness and floristic quality were greater for the vegetation than the seed bank. Jaccard's index of similarity was 36. In total, 43 of vegetation species were represented in the seed bank and 67 of seed bank species occurred in the vegetation. Native perennial grass and forb species dominated species richness and cover of the vegetation. In the seed bank, native species also exceeded introduced species, but annual species exceeded perennial species in species richness at the plot level. The relatively low correspondence between above-and below-ground community structure indicates that, in this grassland, seed banks function as storage for only a sub-set of species and many species in the vegetation must rely on sources other than the seed bank for regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-150
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Midland Naturalist
Volume164
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010

Keywords

  • Gleason and Cronquist (1991)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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