eMonocot Cyperaceae

an authoritative resource for Cyperaceae data worldwide, integrating global and regional perspectives

Germination and establishment of forest sedges (Carex, Cyperaceae): Tests for home-site advantage and effects of leaf litter

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2000
Authors:Vellend, M., Lechowicz, M. J., Waterway M. J.
Journal:American Journal of Botany
Keywords:ant dispersal, Carex, community, Cyperaceae, DECIDUOUS FOREST, forest herbs, habitats, HERBACEOUS VEGETATION, LEAF LITTER, limitation, pedunculata, recruitment, sedges, seed, seed germination, species diversity, species-richness, woodland

We investigated aspects of germination and seedling establishment that might influence the distribution and diversity of Carex species growing in the forest understory. We tested the ability of Carer communis and C. platyphylla to germinate and establish at plots where adult individuals of one of these two species, or one of two other Carer species (C. backii and C. plantaginea), occurred in an old-growth forest in southern Quebec, Canada. We also tested for effects of leaf litter on germination and establishment of these sedges. From a series of experiments in the field and in a lath house, we found no evidence of home-site advantage with respect to germination or seedling establishment. Leaf litter had a negative effect on germination and establishment. The results emphasize the importance of dispersal and colonization events in determining local diversity and distribution of Carer species in upland forests. High frequency of occurrence of C. communis at our study site may result from relatively wide dispersal provided by ants, and a suite of traits associated with ant dispersal in some understory Carer species.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith