Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Seed rain and soil seed bank in Chinese fir plantations and an adjacent natural forest in southern China: Implications for the regeneration of native species

Liu, Bo; Liu, Qingqing; Zhu, Chenxi; Liu, Zhigang; Huang, Zhijun; Tigabu, Mulualem; He, Zongming; Liu, Yuhui; Wang, Zhengning


The natural regeneration of native broadleaved species underneath forest monoculture plantations is important to recover ecosystem functions and to mitigate adverse environmental effects. To understand how seed rain and soil seed bank facilitate natural regeneration, we surveyed their density and composition in a monoculture Chinese fir plantation, a mixed Chinese fir-broadleaf plantation, and an adjacent natural broadleaved forest for two years in southern China. Twenty-eight species (16 families) were in seed rain, and 45 species (27 families) were in soil seed bank. Seed rain density did not differ significantly across stands; however, the number of taxa in seed rain was highest in the mixed plantation and lowest in the natural forest. Seed bank density was significantly higher in the mixed plantation than in the other stands (p < .05). The Sorensen similarity index of species composition between seed sources and aboveground vegetation were relatively low (<.50). The seeds of various native tree species were common in the seed bank of the plantations, indicating that seed rain and seed bank played an important role in native forest regeneration. We recommend that managers interested in sustainable forestry should take into consideration the presence of existing soil seed bank when developing their management strategies. In addition, with regard to forest regeneration process, we also recommend supplementation of the species composition by direct seeding or planting of desired species.


afforestation; conifers; ecological restoration; mixed plantation; Sorensen similarity index; subtropical forests

Published in

Ecology and Evolution
2022, volume: 12, number: 1, article number: e8539
Publisher: WILEY

Authors' information

Liu, Bo
Qufu Normal University
Liu, Bo
Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University
Liu, Qingqing
Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University
Zhu, Chenxi
Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University
Liu, Zhigang
Forestry Bureau of Xinxiang
Huang, Zhijun
Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University
Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
He, Zongming
Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University
Liu, Yuhui
Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University
Wang, Zhengning
Qufu Normal University

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG15 Life on land

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)