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Soil seed bank responses to edge effects in temperate European forests

Gasperini, Cristina and Bollmann, Kurt and Brunet, Jörg and Cousins, Sara A. O. and Decocq, Guillaume and De Pauw, Karen and Diekmann, Martin and Govaert, Sanne and Graae, Bente J. and Hedwall, Per-Ola and Iacopetti, Giovanni and Lenoir, Jonathan and Lindmo, Sigrid and Meeussen, Camille and Orczewska, Anna and Ponette, Quentin and Plue, Jan and Sanczuk, Pieter and Spicher, Fabien and Vanneste, Thomas and Vangansbeke, Pieter and Zellweger, Florian and Selvi, Federico and De Frenne, Pieter (2022). Soil seed bank responses to edge effects in temperate European forests. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 31 :9 , 1877-1893
[Research article]

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Abstract

Aim The amount of forest edges is increasing globally due to forest fragmentation and land-use changes. However, edge effects on the soil seed bank of temperate forests are still poorly understood. Here, we assessed edge effects at contrasting spatial scales across Europe and quantified the extent to which edges can preserve the seeds of forest specialist plants. Location Temperate European deciduous forests along a 2,300-km latitudinal gradient. Time period 2018-2021. Major taxa studied Vascular plants. Methods Through a greenhouse germination experiment, we studied how edge effects alter the density, diversity, composition and functionality of forest soil seed banks in 90 plots along different latitudes, elevations and forest management types. We also assessed which environmental conditions drive the seed bank responses at the forest edge versus interior and looked at the relationship between the seed bank and the herb layer species richness. Results Overall, 10,108 seedlings of 250 species emerged from the soil seed bank. Seed density and species richness of generalists (species not only associated with forests) were higher at edges compared to interiors, with a negative influence of C : N ratio and litter quality. Conversely, forest specialist species richness did not decline from the interior to the edge. Also, edges were compositionally, but not functionally, different from interiors. The correlation between the seed bank and the herb layer species richness was positive and affected by microclimate. Main conclusions Our results underpin how edge effects shape species diversity and composition of soil seed banks in ancient forests, especially increasing the proportion of generalist species and thus potentially favouring a shift in community composition. However, the presence of many forest specialists suggests that soil seed banks still play a key role in understorey species persistence and could support the resilience of our fragmented forests.

Authors/Creators:Gasperini, Cristina and Bollmann, Kurt and Brunet, Jörg and Cousins, Sara A. O. and Decocq, Guillaume and De Pauw, Karen and Diekmann, Martin and Govaert, Sanne and Graae, Bente J. and Hedwall, Per-Ola and Iacopetti, Giovanni and Lenoir, Jonathan and Lindmo, Sigrid and Meeussen, Camille and Orczewska, Anna and Ponette, Quentin and Plue, Jan and Sanczuk, Pieter and Spicher, Fabien and Vanneste, Thomas and Vangansbeke, Pieter and Zellweger, Florian and Selvi, Federico and De Frenne, Pieter
Title:Soil seed bank responses to edge effects in temperate European forests
Series Name/Journal:Global Ecology and Biogeography
Year of publishing :2022
Volume:31
Number:9
Page range:1877-1893
Number of Pages:17
Publisher:WILEY
ISSN:1466-822X
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:deciduous forests, edge effect, forest biodiversity, forest specialists, microclimate, plant traits, soil seed banks, understorey vegetation
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-118448
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-118448
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1111/geb.13568
Web of Science (WoS)000826113300001
ID Code:28527
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:24 Aug 2022 10:26
Metadata Last Modified:24 Aug 2022 10:31

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