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Acta Botanica Brasilica

Print version ISSN 0102-3306On-line version ISSN 1677-941X

Abstract

OLIVEIRA, Patricia Carla de; TOREZAN, José Marcelo Domingues  and  CUNHA, Catia Nunes da. Effects of flooding on the spatial distribution of soil seed and spore banks of native grasslands of the Pantanal wetland. Acta Bot. Bras. [online]. 2015, vol.29, n.3, pp.400-407. ISSN 0102-3306.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0102-33062015abb0027.

To better understand the role that flooding plays in shaping plant communities of native floodable grasslands of the Pantanal and to characterize the spatial distribution of plants, we present the results of a survey of soil seed and spore banks using the seedling emergence method. We hypothesized that terrain subjected to the deepest and longest flooding should have higher propagule abundance and richness. The species composition and distribution of seeds and spores in the soil were assessed at five sites using three sampling positions at each according to inundation intensity. In each sample position 2cm-thick soil samples were collected in quadrats to a depth of 10cm. Litter was also collected as an independent layer. Sample monitoring in the greenhouse resulted in the emergence of 5489 seedlings, or 6353 propagules.m-2. Both the litter layer and the deepest soil layer had low abundances. A total of forty-four morphospecies (16 families) were recorded. Both seedling abundance and species richness were concentrated in the more floodable center sections. Isoetes pedersenii, Eleocharis minima, Sagittaria guayanensis, Rotala mexicana, Eleocharis plicarhachis, and Panicum laxum were the most abundant species. The species composition and spatial distribution of the propagule bank suggests that flooding plays a crucial role in seasonal vegetation dynamics in Pantanal wetlands, mediated by the ability of the soil to host seeds and spores during dry season.

Keywords : Eleocharis minima; Eleocharis plicarhachis; flooding; grasslands; Isoetes pedersenii; Panicum laxum; Rotala mexicana; Sagittaria guayanensis; soil seed and spore bank; spatial distribution.

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