A new device to estimate abundance of moist-soil plant seeds

Wildlife Society Bulletin
By: , and 



Methods to sample the abundance of moist-soil seeds efficiently and accurately are critical for evaluating management practices and determining food availability. We adapted a portable, gasoline-powered vacuum to estimate abundance of seeds on the surface of a moist-soil wetland in east-central Mississippi and evaluated the sampler by simulating conditions that researchers and managers may experience when sampling moist-soil areas for seeds. We measured the percent recovery of known masses of seeds by the vacuum sampler in relation to 4 experimentally controlled factors (i.e., seed-size class, sample mass, soil moisture class, and vacuum time) with 2-4 levels per factor. We also measured processing time of samples in the laboratory. Across all experimental factors, seed recovery averaged 88.4% and varied little (CV = 0.68%, n = 474). Overall, mean time to process a sample was 30.3 ? 2.5 min (SE, n = 417). Our estimate of seed recovery rate (88%) may be used to adjust estimates for incomplete seed recovery, or project-specific correction factors may be developed by investigators. Our device was effective for estimating surface abundance of moist-soil plant seeds after dehiscence and before habitats were flooded.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A new device to estimate abundance of moist-soil plant seeds
Series title Wildlife Society Bulletin
Volume 34
Issue 1
Year Published 2006
Language English
Publisher U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 186-190
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Wildlife Society Bulletin
First page 186
Last page 190
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