Seed dispersal in fens
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Beth A. Middleton; Rudy van Diggelen; Kai Jensen
Publication Year: 2006

Cataloging Information

  • adhesive dispersal
  • biodiversity
  • Canada
  • Carex spp.
  • Carex stricta
  • cattle
  • conservation
  • conservation biology
  • Europe
  • fire dependent species
  • fragmentation
  • invasive plant
  • invasive species
  • island biogeography
  • livestock
  • mammals
  • marshlands
  • Mexico
  • polychory
  • regeneration
  • seed bank
  • seed dispersal
  • seed dormancy
  • species diversity (plants)
  • watershed management
  • wetlands
  • wind
  • zoochory
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: April 4, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 45784
Tall Timbers Record Number: 21371
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Question: How does seed dispersal reduce fen isolation and contribute to biodiversity? Location: European and North American fens. Methods: This paper reviews the literature on seed dispersal to fens. Results: Landscape fragmentation may reduce dispersal opportunities thereby isolating fens and reducing genetic exchange. Species in fragmented wetlands may have lower reproductive success, which can lead to biodiversity loss. While fens may have always been relatively isolated from each other, they have become increasingly fragmented in modem times within agricultural and urban landscapes in both Europe and North America. Dispersal by water, animals and wind has been hampered by changes related to development in landscapes surrounding fens. Because the seeds of certain species are long-lived in the seed bank, frequent episodes of dispersal are not always necessary to maintain the biodiversity of fens. However, of particular concern to restoration is that some dominant species, such as the tussock sedge Carex stricta, may not disperse readily between fens. Conclusions: Knowledge of seed dispersal can be used to maintain and restore the biodiversity of fens in fragmented landscapes. Given that development has fragmented landscapes and that this situation is not likely to change, the dispersal of seeds might be enhanced by moving hay or cattle from fens to damaged sites, or by reestablishing lost hydro-logical connections. © IAVS; Opulus Press Uppsala.

Middleton, B. A., D. R. van, and J. Kai. 2006. Seed Dispersal in fens. Applied Vegetation Science, v. 9, no. 2, p. 279-284.