Influence of management on the seed production and seed bank of calcareous fen species

Armin Schopp‐Guth, Dieter Maas, Jörg Pfadenhauer

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25 Scopus citations


Abstract. The dynamics of the seed production and seed bank of two dominant perennial species of calcareous fens were investigated in response to different mowing frequency, fallow or pasture. The production of fertile shoots responded strongly to management practices. On sites where mowing alternated with fallow, autumn mowing led to an increase of fertile shoot density in Schoenus ferrugineus and a decrease in Molinia caerulea in the subsequent season. Repeated annual mowing after long‐term fallow raised the density in Schoenus and inhibited initiation of flowering shoots in Molinia. Seed set and viability were influenced mainly by climatic or other factors. Variation of seed production between sites and in consecutive years at the same site could thus be large. The relationship between total seed production and seed bank was weak, but it improved when germination rates were included in the calculation. As the seed bank was generally smaller than the viable seed production, low survival and a high turnover of seeds in the upper soil layers is assumed for both species. Implications for recruitment strategies are discussed. 1994 IAVS ‐ the International Association of Vegetation Science

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-578
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Vegetation Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1994


  • Fallow
  • Litter meadow
  • Molinia caerulea
  • Mowing
  • Pasture
  • Schoenus ferrugineus.


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