Importance of individual tree patches on soil seed bank conservation in the arid regions (case study: Zarin Dasht, Fars province)

Document Type : Original Article


‎ 10.22052/deej.2016.113703


This study aimed to investigate the effect of canopy cover of individual woody patches on soil seed bank characteristics viz. density, richness and the similarity between soil seed bank and above ground vegetation. The study was conducted in Mazayjan, Zarindasht, south of Fars province in 2013. Therefore, 40 4m2 plots beneath and outside of Ziziphus spina-christi (dominant woody species) were established. Soil samples were collected within two depths (0-5 and 5-10 cm) in each plots by augur to test the germination of the seeds buried in the soil in the greenhouse. Above ground vegetation was also estimated at the growth season. Paired t-test was used to compared soil seed bank characteristics between the two depths, and between inside and outside of the Z. spina-christi canopy cover. The results showed that seed bank density, richness and its similarity with above ground vegetation were significantly higher inside the patches than bare soil. Seed density and richness were significantly higher in the upper than lower layer of soil. As a result, in the dry region, the cover of woody plants is important in conservation of soil seed bank particular for herb species e.g. Asphodelus albus, Antigonon sp., Stipa capensis, Plantago stokessi and Geranium sp.