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Experiments on the Floating Time and Settling Velocity of Salt Marsh Plant Seeds

Author(s): Wei Shi; Dongdong Shao; Xu Ma; Baoshan Cui

Linked Author(s): Dongdong Shao

Keywords: No Keywords

Abstract: As a primary factor influencing plant community development, the secondary seed dispersal were found to be mainly determined by tidal currents in salt-marsh, and dispersal along tidal channel is a key mechanism for long-distance seed dispersal. Within the channel, the typically buoyant salt-marsh plant seeds tend to float on the water surface. However, the floating capacity of the seeds varies greatly among different species, due to their varying traits such as density, size, shape, etc. In this study, we measured the seed floating time of dominant saltmarsh species at the Yellow River Delta, namely, Suaeda salsa and Spartina alterniflora in still and agitated saltwater in the laboratory, and analyzed the influence of flow velocity on seed floating time. The experimental data were used to fit an exponential decay function that accounts for the percentage of floating seeds versus time under different ambient flow velocities. The settling velocity of the plant seeds was further measured and compared with that predicted by empirical formulae reported in the literature. The results can inform the development of tidal seed dispersal model and provide references for ecological management of tidal marshes.


Year: 2018

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