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(This text is taken from Guidelines on the front webpage)
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Seed ecology of Nootka lupine (Lupinus nootkatensis) in Iceland
Bjarni D. Sigurdsson1 & Borgthor Magnusson2
1Icelandic Forest Research, Mógilsá, 116 Reykjavík, Iceland.
2Icelandic Institute of Natural History, P.O. Box 5320, 125 Reykjavík, Iceland.
The introduced Nootka lupine (Lupinus nootkatensis Donn ex. Sims) has been used increasingly for land reclamation in Iceland during the last two decades. A prerequisite for its use as a valuable reclamation tool is that its distribution can be controlled. Therefore it is important to study the seed ecology of the species. The present project took place at seven different sites in Iceland, where the lupine has been introduced and formed patches. At the sites, seed production, seed dispersal and active seed bank in soils were investigated. The seed production was found to be variable within the lupine patches. The production was highest in younger parts, close to the expanding edge (maximum 1800 seeds m-2), and much less in inner and older parts (generally 200-500 seeds m-2). At the expanding edge seeds did not disperse further than 3 m. Seed dispersal started in early August, peaked in late September and ceased in early November. The lupine forms a persistent seed bank in the soil. The highest number of buried seeds (6700 and 2900 seeds m-2) was found in older lupine patches, where the lupine had not yet retreated. Even where the lupine had retreated and was replaced by grassland, a large viable seed bank remained in the soil (760 seeds m-2). The seed bank was also buried significantly deeper in older plots, which indicates that the seeds may last for many years in the soil. This has both positive and negative implications for the use of the plant in land reclamation. If erosion starts in a grassland that replaces the lupine, it can recolonise the area from the active seed bank. The long-lived seed bank, however, makes it difficult to fully control the distribution of the lupine.