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Using marsh organs to test seed recruitment in tidal freshwater marshes

Citation

Lane, Stefanie (2022), Using marsh organs to test seed recruitment in tidal freshwater marshes, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.gmsbcc2qw

Abstract

Premise: Seed recruitment niches along estuarine elevation gradients are seldom experimentally field-tested under tidal regimes of the Pacific Northwest of North America. Addressing this knowledge gap is important to better understand estuary restoration and plant community response to sea level rise.

Methods: Germination was tested in marsh organ mesocosms across an elevation gradient (0.5–1.7 m above mean sea level). Seeds were sown on sterile peat moss, and the tops of pipes were secured with horticultural “frost cloth” to ensure no experimental seeds were washed out and no new seeds were introduced. The trials tested artificial and overwinter chilling regimes, as well as the presence and/or absence of a near-neighbor transplant.

Results: Carex lyngbyei had significant elevation-driven germination after overwinter and artificial chilling. Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani had near-significant germination across elevation after overwinter chilling, and germination in the absence of competition was significantly greater than with a near-neighbor transplant.

Discussion: Carex lyngbyei had the highest germination rate at higher elevations, which suggests restricted seed recruitment potential, and required clonal expansion to extend into lower marsh elevations. Identifying species-specific recruitment niches provides insight for restoration opportunities or invasive species monitoring, as well as for estuary migration under sea level rise.

Methods

Datasets contain temperature data automatically recorded by iButton data loggers (iButtonLink, LLC, Whitewater, WI, USA. Ibuttonlink.com), or manually observed/recorded percent seed germination in experimental mesocosm (marsh organ).

Usage Notes

Please see ReadMe, then metadata files for each data file. R code is annotated with notes about analysis process, and often links to resources used to produce analyses.

Funding

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Award: RGPIN-2018-03838 to J. Richardson