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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #194617


item Sanderson, Matt
item Goslee, Sarah
item Soder, Kathy

Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/3/2006
Publication Date: 11/12/2006
Citation: Sanderson, M.A., Goslee, S.C., Klement, K., Soder, K.J. 2006. Soil seedbank composition in pastures of diverse mixtures of temperate forages. Agronomy Abstracts. Paper No. 266-2.

Interpretive Summary: An interpretive summary is not required.

Technical Abstract: Seed banks may contribute useful or weedy species that fill gaps in the sward. In this study, we relate changes in the composition and structure of the seed bank in these same pastures to changes in the aboveground vegetation composition and structure of the planted and nonplanted species during 3 yr. In August 2001, four mixtures (2, 3, 6, and 9-species of temperate grasses, legumes and a forb) were established in replicated 1-ha pastures. Pastures were grazed from April to September in 2002 and 2003. Soil cores (1.88 cm diameter by 5 cm depth) were taken from the pastures on five dates in 3 yr to determine seed density. The total density of germinable seeds from all species did not differ among mixture treatments averaged across the five sample periods. Annual forbs accounted for 79% of the germinable seeds. Oxalis was the dominant annual forb. The 2-species mix had a higher density of germinable annual forb seeds (18, 600 seeds m-2) compared with the 3- and 9-species mixtures (11,000 seeds m-2). Seeded species contributed little to the soil seed bank with fewer than 1000 seeds m-2 total in the 3 yr. There was little relation between the species composition of the seed bank and the composition of the aboveground vegetation. Data from this study indicate that planting a diverse mix of forage species may help reduce the abundance of germinable annual forb seeds in the soil seedbank.