With the recent appearances of a new and well-documented classification of the Dutch plant communities (Schaminee el al. 1995a,b; 1996) and a database on the seed longevity of plant species of North West Europe (Thompson et al. 1997a) it was possible to investigate patterns of seed longevity in Dutch plant communities, considering the frequencies of plant species in various communities. This study revealed that arable weed communities have long-lived seeds compared to the transient seed bank of deciduous woodland; species-rich grassland communities tend to have a short-lived soil seed bank, intermediate between the latter two communities. Moreover, the present study showed that significant differences in community longevity exist between weed communities as well as between grassland communities. The approach based on soil seed bank spectra of plant communities gives support to existing phytosociological theories on different strategies of plant communities sensu Stortelder (1992) and Schaminee & Stortelder (1996). The information on seed longevity of communities is essential to the practice of nature conservation and nature development because it reveals the possible vulnerability of plant communities to extinction, including their soil seed banks, the necessity of their conservation and their possibilities for regeneration.

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Acta botanica neerlandica

CC BY 3.0 NL ("Naamsvermelding")

Koninklijke Nederlandse Botanische Vereniging

R.M. Bekker, J.H.J. Schaminée, J.P. Bakker, & K. Thompson. (1998). Seed bank characteristics of Dutch plant communities. Acta botanica neerlandica, 47(1), 15–26.