Seed morphology characteristics in relation to seed loss by water erosion in the Loess PlateauReport as inadecuate

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, 2:S9

First Online: 11 December 2013


The role of water erosion on seed loss and on plant establishment and distribution is unknown on the Chinese Loess Plateau, which suffers serious soil erosion. The seed susceptibility of 16 local species to removal by water erosion from loess slopes was determined by rainfall simulation experiments. The experiments were performed on slopes with gradients of 10°, 15°, 20° and 25° for a 60-min duration at an intensity of 50 mm-h, 100 mm-h and 150 mm-h, respectively. The total seed removal rate obviously increased with rainfall intensity but did not obviously change with slope gradient, and the responses were varied among the species. The morphological characteristics affecting seed loss of the various species are quite different. Our experiments showed that the seed removal from some species are mainly due to seed weight, some species are mainly affected by seed shape, some are affected by appendage, some by surface structure, some by the comprehensive effects of the different morphological characteristics, while seeds having mucilage secretion are not easily moved by water erosion. We argued that the seed removal during water erosion can clearly effect seed redistribution and deposition, and consequently, species composition and vegetation spatial distribution.

Keywordsseed loss seed displacement seed morphology water erosion simulation rainfall experiment  Download fulltext PDF

Author: Juying Jiao - Luyan Han - Yanfeng Jia - Dong Lei - Ning Wang - Linyu Li


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