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Studies on the characteristics of soil seed banks under different forest restoration types in hilly red soil region, Southern China

  • 1. Key Laboratory of Systems Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100085, China;
    2. Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changsha 410125, China;
    3. Hunan Academy of Forestry Sciences, Changsha 410000, China

Received date: 2003-10-05

  Revised date: 2003-11-27

  Online published: 2004-06-25


Soil seed bank is one of the most important sources of forest restoration.It is very important to study the characteristics of soil seed banks under different forest restoration types for assessing the ecological benefits of different forest restoration types and guiding the restoration practice of degraded ecosystem.There exist 4 forest restoration types,i.e.,pine artificial forestation (13 years),fir artificial forestation (13 years),oil-tea camellia artificial forestation (22 years) and natural secondary forest (closing the land for reforestation, 12 years) in the hilly red soil region of Hunan.Through the method of field sampling and indoor germination,the comparative studies of soil seed banks of four forest restoration types was carried out in the region.The results showed that: (1)Herb is the dominant proportion in both the species composition (61.9%-86.67%) and the number (49.82-87.27%) of seeds among these four forest types in soil seed banks.The sequence of seed density in soil seed banks was as following:fir artificial forestation >pine artificial forestation >oil-tea camellia artificial forestation >natural secondary forest. (2)Both the number and the species of shrub and tree in natural secondary forest are more than those in artificial forestation. (3)The artificial fostering leads to seeds to be more deeply imbedded in soil in pine artificial forestation and fir artificial forestation.Within these two artificial forestations,33.09% and 26.64% of seeds can be contained respectively in the soil depth of 820cm. (4)In the soil seed banks the species diversity of natural secondary forest was richer than that of artificial forestation.When comparing between artificial forestations,the species diversity of oil-tea camellia artificial forestation with less disturbance was richer than that of pine artificial forestation and fir artificial forestation with more disturbance.The natural secondary forest was most beneficial to maintaining and protecting the species diversity in the region. (5)The species composition of seed banks was consistent with that of the above ground community in the pine artificial forestation,fir artificial forestation,and seed bank and above-ground species compositions differed in oil-tea camellia artificial forestation and natural secondary forest.The research results showed:due to the species richness and the complexity of community structure,the natural recovery was the best approach to recovery vegetation in the hilly red soil region,Southern China.However,when considering the fostering approaches of artificial forestation,the method to foster the overall area will increase the loss of soil seed banks and won't be beneficial to the restoration of vegetation.

Cite this article

ZHENG Hua, OUYANG Zhi-yun, WANG Xiao-ke, PENG Ting-bai, LI Zhen-xin, ZHAO Tong-qian, LI Xi-quan . Studies on the characteristics of soil seed banks under different forest restoration types in hilly red soil region, Southern China[J]. JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES, 2004 , 19(3) : 361 -368 . DOI: 10.11849/zrzyxb.2004.03.013