Main Article Content
The role of the seed rain in affecting recruitment, regeneration, and plant community dynamics continues to be debated. Studies show that seed limitation for recruitment is more likely as ecosystems become colder and more species-poor, as in boreal forests, and for species that have large seeds and short-lived seed banks. Even if there is a limiting effect of the seed rain for recruitment, however, clumping seen for mature trees and other evidence suggests that its effect diminishes with time. I posit that the dynamics of plant communities are largely determined where the seed rain is abundant and not limiting—in local spaces close to dispersing plants. Putting all the evidence together, I conclude that it is what happens to seeds after dispersal—such as loss to predation and pathogenic attack, or germination success resulting from environmental tolerances—that has a greater effect on recruitment, regeneration and plant community dynamics. And thus the variation in the workings of seed fate mechanisms and environmental tolerances, deserve more research attention. The importance of the seed rain in affecting recruitment of individual plants, regeneration of individual plants, and plant community dynamics has been over-emphasized in plant modeling and theory.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).