Clarkson, B. R., Walker, L. R., Clarkson, B. D. & Silvester, W. B. (2002). Effect of Coriaria arborea on seed banks during primary succession on Mt Tarawera, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany. 40(4), 629-638.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/148
An experiment was conducted over two years to investigate the effect of Coriaria arborea, a native nitrogen-fixing shrub, on soil seed banks at sites representing a post-volcanic successional sequence on Mt Tarawera, New Zealand. The sites ranged from bare volcanic ash and lapilli substrate, through low-growing pre-Coriaria vegetation, to dense stands of Coriaria scrub. Soils (to a depth of 50 mm) under recently established Coriaria and older stands had more seedlings (1096 and 1585 seedlings 0.4 m-2, respectively) and species (37 and 45 species 0.4 m-2, respectively) emerge than where there was no Coriaria (243-320 seedlings 0.4 m-2, 14-25 species 0.4 m-2) and were the only soils with Coriaria seedlings. In total, 3488 seedlings representing 63 taxa were recorded. Seeds were still germinating after 24 months but rates declined markedly in the second year. For example, Coriaria reached a germination peak at 8 weeks but continued to germinate sporadically over the 2-year period. Tree species present in young forest within 0.5 km of the sites were absent. Establishment of Coriaria greatly accelerated an underlying trend of gradually increasing abundance and diversity of seeds in the soil with vegetation age. Adventive, wind-dispersed, and annual species were over-represented in the seed banks compared with the regional evergreen forest-dominated flora. These proportions are expected to decline as succession to forest gradually occurs.
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, New Zealand Journal of Botany, 40(4), (2002), (c) Royal Society of New Zealand at the Royal Society of New Zealand Journals Online webpage.