Event Title

Patch Size Affects Seedbank Density in an Experimentally Fragmented Landscape

Presenter Information

Arianna Porter, Colby CollegeFollow

Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

1-5-2014 9:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 10:00 AM

Project Type

Poster

Description

Fragmentation of landscapes is a primary form of habitat fragmentation. In this study, we examine whether seed banks vary in abundance across an experimentally fragmented landscape in Kansas. Overall density in seed banks may be influenced by patch size (an isolated area of habitat) in a variety of ways. For example, seed banks in small patches may have lower density and diversity due to island biogeography principles. Small patches may also be strongly influenced by edge effects that raise the likelihood of seed death by predation or fungal death. However, it is possible that large patches have lower seed bank density because rapid succession has caused woody plants to dominate a patch, decreasing the number of herbaceous plants and therefore the number of seeds in the patch. We quantified total seed bank density across the landscape for all species combined. We also investigated if patch size affected abundance differently for four plant species. We collected 280 soil cores during two weeks in July, 2013. We took samples from the center and edges of large patches, the center of small patches, and the matrix (area between patches) in equal numbers. These samples were dried, cold treated, and then allowed to germinate in the greenhouse at Colby College. Seedlings were monitored for six months. Preliminary results suggest that overall density of seeds present in seed banks varies with patch size. However, if species are analyzed separately, some are more abundant in large patches and some are more abundant in small patches. Results for the four species are displayed using Rank Occupancy Abundance Profiles (ROAPs), which depict both local density and the number of sites occupied. Further analysis of this data will examine impacts of patch size on seed bank diversity.

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Biology Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Natural Sciences

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

525

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May 1st, 9:00 AM May 1st, 10:00 AM

Patch Size Affects Seedbank Density in an Experimentally Fragmented Landscape

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Fragmentation of landscapes is a primary form of habitat fragmentation. In this study, we examine whether seed banks vary in abundance across an experimentally fragmented landscape in Kansas. Overall density in seed banks may be influenced by patch size (an isolated area of habitat) in a variety of ways. For example, seed banks in small patches may have lower density and diversity due to island biogeography principles. Small patches may also be strongly influenced by edge effects that raise the likelihood of seed death by predation or fungal death. However, it is possible that large patches have lower seed bank density because rapid succession has caused woody plants to dominate a patch, decreasing the number of herbaceous plants and therefore the number of seeds in the patch. We quantified total seed bank density across the landscape for all species combined. We also investigated if patch size affected abundance differently for four plant species. We collected 280 soil cores during two weeks in July, 2013. We took samples from the center and edges of large patches, the center of small patches, and the matrix (area between patches) in equal numbers. These samples were dried, cold treated, and then allowed to germinate in the greenhouse at Colby College. Seedlings were monitored for six months. Preliminary results suggest that overall density of seeds present in seed banks varies with patch size. However, if species are analyzed separately, some are more abundant in large patches and some are more abundant in small patches. Results for the four species are displayed using Rank Occupancy Abundance Profiles (ROAPs), which depict both local density and the number of sites occupied. Further analysis of this data will examine impacts of patch size on seed bank diversity.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2014/program/12