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Ecological Studies on the Revegetation Process of Surface Coal Mined Areas in North Dakota. 9. Viability and Diversity of the Seed Bank.
NTIS: PB/83-171405 :43 pages
Analysis of seed numbers present in topsoils indicated that seeds of the most prevalent colonizers were not present in the topsoil in a grazed area, an ungrazed area, and two stockpiles upon respreading but rather reappeared by immigration from the surrounding areas. The grazed site had a seed density of over 7,700 seeds per m2 and the ungrazed site had 3,900 seeds per m2; the stockpiled topsoils had very low seed densities (225 and 520 seeds per m2). Seed densities and diversity decreased with depth on both the grazed and ungrazed sites; this was especially true on the grazed site where 94% of the seeds were found in the surface 7.5 Cm. Several species were present in the seed bank that were also found on the 3- and 4- year-old mined sites in the aboveground vegetation survey. Seeds from these species may germinate after several years of dormancy, thereby starting populations on mined sites and enhancing plant diversity. Mined site seed densities ranged from 1,630 to 3,980 seeds per m2; the 4-year-old site had the greatest density and an unmined site and a stockpiled topsoil sample had lower seed densities. A positive correlation between total viable seed content and soil-water saturation percentage indicated that soil texture may influence seed viability-dormancy.
CP; Final Contract Report;
NTIS Accession No.
University of North Dakota
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
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