Are floodplain-wetland plant communities determined by seed bank composition or inundation periods?

International Association of Hydrological Sciences
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Sediment Dynamics and the Hydromorphology of Fluvial Systems, 2006, 306 pp. 241 - 248
Issue Date:
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Vegetation zonation patterns are a common feature in flood plain wetland complexes and are important to the biodiversity and functioning of such systems. The purpose of this paper is to identify links between water regime, seed bank and the establishment of zoned vegetation communities in a series of small distributary channels within the Narran Lakes flood plain wetland complex, eastern Australia. Seed bank material from three distinct plant community zones within three distributary channels were collected and subjected to five inundation treatments over a period of 12 weeks to test the effects of location and inundation regime on the abundance of seedlings, species richness and species assemblages. The results of this study indicate that the water regime determines which species germinate and the seed bank influences the abundance of plants to emerge. This study provides insight into the implications of changing flooding regimes on plant community composition in flood plainwetland systems
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