Cryptic coral recruits as dormant ‘seed banks’: an unrecognised mechanism of rapid reef recovery

Ecology ◽  
2021 ◽  
Christopher Doropoulos ◽  
Yves‐Marie Bozec ◽  
Marine Gouezo ◽  
Mark A. Priest ◽  
Damian P. Thomson ◽  
2020 ◽  
Vol 71 (8) ◽  
pp. 935
Glendon Hong Ming Ong ◽  
Samantha Lai ◽  
Siti Maryam Yaakub ◽  
Peter Todd

Seagrasses need to be resilient if they are to persist in the long term. Being able to build up a dormant seed bank in sediments is a key strategy that some species employ to regenerate from large-scale degradation. Much of the research on seed banks has focussed on temperate species, and little is known regarding the status of seed banks in tropical meadows. In the present study, we examined the seed bank status of three common seagrass species at six sites in Singapore and attempted to identify potential drivers of seed abundance. Our results indicated depauperate seed banks with few species setting viable seed and low seed densities. Halophila ovalis seeds were found at four sites and Halodule uninervis seeds at two sites, but Cymodocea rotundata seeds were absent from all six sites. Whereas H. ovalis seed viability ranged from 20% to 68.8%, none of the H. uninervis seeds was viable. Halophila ovalis seed densities (33–334m–2) were much higher than those of H. uninervis (9–21m–2). Of the variables examined, only H. ovalis cover was positively correlated with the number of seeds. Our study has highlighted the vulnerability of seagrass meadows in Singapore’s urban waters to future disturbances.

2014 ◽  
Vol 32 (3) ◽  
pp. 507-513
R.O. Adereti ◽  
F.O Takim ◽  
Y.A. Abayomi

An experiment was laid down in a screen house to determine the distribution of weed seeds at different soil depths and periods of cultivation of sugarcane in Ilorin, Nigeria. Soil samples from different depth levels (0-10 cm, 11-20 cm and 21-30 cm) were collected after harvesting of canes from three different land use fields (continuous sugarcane cultivation for > 20 years, continuous sugarcane cultivation for < 10 years after long fallow period and continuous sugarcane cultivation for < 5 years after long fallow period) in November, 2012. One kilogram of the sieved composite soil samples was arranged in the screen house and watered at alternate days. Germinating weed seedlings were identified, counted and then pulled out for the period of 8 months. Land use and soil depth had a highly significant (p £ 0.05) effect on the total number of weeds that emerged from the soil samples. The 010 cm of the soil depth had the highest weed seedlings that emerged. There was an equal weed seed distribution at the 11-20 cm and 21-30 cm depths of the soil. Sugarcane fields which have been continuously cultivated for a long period of time with highly disturbing soil tillage practices tend to have larger seed banks in deeper soil layers (11-20 cm and 21-30 cm) while recently opened fields had significantly larger seed banks at the 0-10 cm soil sampling depth.

Fire ◽  
2020 ◽  
Vol 3 (2) ◽  
pp. 15 ◽  
Lynda D. Prior ◽  
David M. J. S. Bowman

Developing standardised classification of post-fire responses is essential for globally consistent comparisons of woody vegetation communities. Existing classification systems are based on responses of species growing in fire-prone environments. To accommodate species that occur in rarely burnt environments, we have suggested some important points of clarification to earlier schemes categorizing post-fire responses. We have illustrated this approach using several Australasian conifer species as examples of pyrophobic species. In particular, we suggest using the term “obligate seeder” for the general category of plants that rely on seed to reproduce, and qualifying this to “post-fire obligate seeder” for the narrower category of species with populations that recover from canopy fire only by seeding; the species are typically fire-cued, with large aerial or soil seed banks that germinate profusely following a fire, and grow and reproduce rapidly in order to renew the seed bank before the next fire.

1998 ◽  
Vol 76 (7) ◽  
pp. 1188-1197 ◽  
Heli M. Jutila b. Erkkilä

Seed banks of two seashore meadows were studied on the west coast of Finland (latitude 61°30'-61°33'N, longitude 21°28'-21°41'E). Samples were taken in June to a depth of 10 cm in the geolittoral zone of the grazed and ungrazed transects. The grazed samples were halved lengthwise: one half was grown immediately, the other after cold treatment. One third of the all samples was treated as controls, one third was watered with brackish water, and one third was given a pesticide treatment. Altogether, 13 926 seedlings germinated and 25 species were identified (three annuals, two biennials, and the rest perennials). Most seedlings were perennial monocots, with Juncus gerardii Loisel. the most abundant species. The seed bank was significantly larger and richer in the ungrazed site than in the grazed site. Cold treatment reduced the number of germinating species and seedlings. In the grazed and non-cold-treated samples, the numbers of species and seedlings were highest in the pesticide treatment. In ungrazed samples there were no significant differences among treatments. After the cold treatment, the least number of species and seedlings was produced by the salt-water treatment. Changing brackish water to tap water led to a burst of germination, especially of J. gerardii. The seed bank of the upper geolittoral zone was richer than that of the middle geolittoral. The multivariate classification and ordination groupings are based on the abundances of J. gerardii and Glaux maritima L.; different treatments were not distinguishable. There was a low resemblance between the seed bank and the aboveground vegetation.Key words: seed bank, salinity, pesticide, seashore meadow, cold treatment, vegetation.

2002 ◽  
Vol 39 (2) ◽  
pp. 279-293 ◽  
R.S. Smith ◽  
R.S. Shiel ◽  
D. Millward ◽  
P. Corkhill ◽  
R.A. Sanderson

1996 ◽  
Vol 36 (3) ◽  
pp. 299 ◽  
TS Andrews ◽  
RDB Whalley ◽  
CE Jones

Inputs and losses from Giant Parramatta grass [GPG, Sporobolus indicus (L.) R. Br. var. major (Buse) Baaijens] soil seed banks were quantified on the North Coast of New South Wales. Monthly potential seed production and actual seed fall was estimated at Valla during 1991-92. Total potential production was >668 000 seeds/m2 for the season, while seed fall was >146000 seeds/m2. Seed fall >10000 seeds/m2.month was recorded from January until May, with further seed falls recorded in June and July. The impact of seed production on seed banks was assessed by estimating seed banks in the seed production quadrats before and after seed fall. Seed banks in 4 of the 6 sites decreased in year 2, although seed numbers at 1 damp site increased markedly. Defoliation from mid-December until February, April or June prevented seed production, reducing seed banks by 34% over 7 months. Seed banks in undefoliated plots increased by 3300 seeds/m2, although seed fall was estimated at >114 000 seeds/m2. Emergence of GPG seedlings from artificially established and naturally occurring, persistent seed banks was recorded for 3 years from bare and vegetated treatment plots. Sown seeds showed high levels of innate dormancy and only 4% of seeds emerged when sown immediately after collection. Longer storage of seeds after collection resulted in more seedlings emerging. Estimates of persistent seed banks ranged from 1650 to about 21260 seeds/m2. Most seedlings emerged in spring or autumn and this was correlated with rainfall but not with ambient temperatures. Rates of seed bank decline in both bare and vegetated treatment plots was estimated by fitting exponential decay curves to seed bank estimates. Assuming no further seed inputs, it was estimated that it would take about 3 and 5 years, respectively, for seed banks to decline to 150 seeds/m2 in bare and vegetated treatments.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
Jay T. Lennon ◽  
Frank den Hollander ◽  
Maite Wilke-Berenguer ◽  
Jochen Blath

AbstractAcross the tree of life, populations have evolved the capacity to contend with suboptimal conditions by engaging in dormancy, whereby individuals enter a reversible state of reduced metabolic activity. The resulting seed banks are complex, storing information and imparting memory that gives rise to multi-scale structures and networks spanning collections of cells to entire ecosystems. We outline the fundamental attributes and emergent phenomena associated with dormancy and seed banks, with the vision for a unifying and mathematically based framework that can address problems in the life sciences, ranging from global change to cancer biology.

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