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Title: Quantifying the seed bank of an invasive grass in the sub-Antarctic: seed density, depth, persistence and viability
Contributor(s): Williams, Laura K (author); Kristiansen, Paul  (author)orcid ; Sindel, Brian M  (author)orcid ; Wilson, Susan  (author)orcid ; Shaw, Justine (author)
Publication Date: 2016
DOI: 10.1007/s10530-016-1154-x
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Abstract: A native to Europe, 'Poa annua' now has a cosmopolitan distribution and is invasive in the sub-Antarctic. As a major weed in temperate turf, there has been considerable investment in research of the species, but little is known about its ecology in the sub-Antarctic, particularly its reproductive ecology and population dynamics. We characterised the seed bank of this invasive species in the sub-Antarctic, by quantifying seed density, depth, persistence and viability. 'Poa annua' seed bank density was correlated with elevation, animal disturbance, soil wetness and soil depth, but most strongly with 'P. annua' cover. Seed bank density was greatest (132,000 seeds m−2) at low altitude coastal sites where 'P. annua' is abundant but declined with increasing altitude to <2600 seeds m2. Seed was most abundant within the top 3 cm of the soil and decreased with soil depth. Seed viability declined over time, from an initial viability of 81 to <3 % after 2 years in the soil. This study demonstrates that whilst 'P. annua' seed banks can be dense, the seed bank is shallow (<10 cm) with low persistence and viability. This first detailed study on the in situ seed bank profile of 'P. annua' in the sub-Antarctic helps us understand the distribution and persistence of this invasive weed and is essential information for the development and implementation of future management. These findings, such as low seed bank persistence, challenge current thinking about eradication or control feasibility in the region.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Biological Invasions, 18(7), p. 2093-2106
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Place of Publication: Netherlands
ISSN: 1573-1464
Field of Research (FOR): 050206 Environmental Monitoring
050205 Environmental Management
050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 960901 Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Land and Water Management
960801 Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
960405 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species at Regional or Larger Scales
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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