Heterogeneity in soil seed banks in a Mediterranean coastal sand dune

Shun Li Yu, Marcelo Sternberg, Gao Ming Jiang, Pua Kutiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Characteristics of total soil seed banks and permanent soil seed banks in three microhabitats in a Mediterranean coastal sand dune were investigated by using natural germination method combined with physically scanning separation method. The composition and structure of soil seed banks were analyzed between the microhabitats by using functional group method. The distribution patterns of soil seed bank were also analyzed between the microhabitats. We also analyzed the relationship between seed size and seed persistence in soil. The results show greatly spatial heterogeneity existed in soil seed banks of the Mediterranean coastal sand dune, even in the same microhabitats seed distribution was uneven. Sometimes a great difference occurred between them. Microhabitats significantly affected the distribution patterns of total soil seed banks and seed banks of the functional groups. The open area generally had the greater densities of seeds, but the seed densities under shrub and in trail were lower than that in the open area. Legumes seeds accounted for 76.0% total persistent seed banks. Annual and perennial grasses produced transient seed banks as no seeds were retrieved from the sieved soils. Seed persistence of legumes, umbeliferaes, perennial forbs, compositaes, annual forbs, crucifer decreased gradually. They were 50.1%, 45.6%, 40.6%, 6.3%, 5.6% and 0.6% respectively in the soil. There was a positive relationship between seed size and seed persistence. Bigger seeds had higher persistence, and vice versa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-543
Number of pages8
JournalActa Botanica Sinica
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Microhabitats
  • Persistent soil seed bank
  • Soil seed banks
  • Spatial heterogeneity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Heterogeneity in soil seed banks in a Mediterranean coastal sand dune'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this