Seed rain and dispersal possibilities between process domains : Comparing seed dispersal abundance between lakes, rapids and slow-flowing reaches

University essay from Umeå universitet/Institutionen för ekologi, miljö och geovetenskap

Abstract: Process domains are formed by geomorphological process, these geological formation act as water pathways for river systems and affects hydrochory potential for seeds. Hydrochory acts differently depending on fluvial settings and is an important factor for diversity in the riparian zone along streams and lakes. The aim of this study was to (1) determine if process domains influence plant species abundance and diversity, and (2) if certain environmental factors associated with different process domains affects species abundance and diversity. The sample sites are parts of a dendritic water system located in tributaries for Hjuksån summer 2017 in northern Sweden. Seed samples were collected from three process domains (lake, rapids and slow-flowing) and later identified in lab. A greater species abundances and seed amount were found at lakes compared to rapids and slow-flowing reaches but there were no significant different between the process domains. None of the environmental factors showed to be important but there were indications that number of boulders might influence seed dispersal. Shannon Diversity index showed to be highest along slow-flowing reaches, but again no significant difference. Understanding process domains and their unique compositions in species abundance and diversity is for example an important factor for restoration techniques of anthropogenic modified streams.

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