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Episodic recruitment of the seedling banks in balsam fir and white spruce

Rossi Sergio, Morin Hubert, Gionest François et Laprise Danielle. (2012). Episodic recruitment of the seedling banks in balsam fir and white spruce. American Journal of Botany, 99, (12), p. 1942-1950.

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Premise of the study: In ecosystems where seed production is low and masting years are sporadic, or with species that have short-lived seeds, regeneration is assured by seedling banks rather than seed banks. Seedling establishment and survival play a critical role in determining the composition of these plant communities by supplying new individuals for their maintenance. Seedling emergence and mortality were investigated to test the hypothesis that recruitment into the seedling bank is periodic.

Materials and methods: Seed production and seedling emergence and survival was monitored during 1994-2007 in balsam fir (Abies balsamea) and white spruce (Picea glauca) in four pristine stands of the boreal forest of Quebec, Canada. Measurements were collected twice per month by sampling one permanent plot of 20 × 20 m per stand.

Key results: Seed-rain abundance reached 9 × 103 seeds m-2 year-1, and was characterized by synchronous sequences of low and high seed production. New seedlings appeared only during the year following a seed production of at least 1 × 103 and 1.5 × 102 seeds m-2 year-1 for balsam fir and white spruce, respectively. Seedlings emerged in July and survived 34-52 d on average, with balsam fir showing a longer lifespan and lower mortality, although 85-99% of seedlings died before completing one year of life.

Conclusions: The emergence of young seedlings was coupled with massive seed rains, which allowed synchronous replenishment of the seedling banks among stands and species, and generated different cohorts, yielding a discontinuous age structure.

Type de document:Article publié dans une revue avec comité d'évaluation
Pages:p. 1942-1950
Version évaluée par les pairs:Oui
Identifiant unique:10.3732/ajb.1200267
Sujets:Sciences naturelles et génie > Sciences naturelles > Biologie et autres sciences connexes
Département, module, service et unité de recherche:Départements et modules > Département des sciences fondamentales
Unités de recherche > Centre de recherche sur la Boréalie (CREB)
Mots-clés:Abies balsamea, boreal forest, demography, masting, mortality, Picea glauca, recruitment, reproduction, seed rain, survival
Déposé le:04 juill. 2023 15:14
Dernière modification:04 juill. 2023 15:14
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