Soil seed bank of the invasive Robinia pseudoacacia in planted Pinus nigra stands
Pinus nigra and Robinia pseudoacacia are exotic trees used for afforestation in Hungary. Pinus nigra was non-invasive, however R. pseudoacacia escaped from cultivation and invaded several vegetation types including pine plantations. It has recently been planned to cut P. nigra plantations and replace them by native tree stands, especially in nature reserves. The scattered presence of R. pseudoacacia specimens in pine stands might place constraints on planned tree replacement because of their vegetative resproutingand recolonization from an established seed bank. The aim of this study was to investigate the soil seed bank under the canopy of solitary R. pseudoacacia specimens found in P. nigra plantations. Altogether 250 soil samples were collected from the 0–6 and 6–12 cmsoil layers under solitary Robinia trees of varying ages (with basal areas between 62.4 and 1089.3 cm2). Seeds were separated by sieving then scarified and germinated. Seed bank density ranged between 640 and 2285 seedsm–2 with an average distribution of 82.7% and 17.3% in the upper and lower soil layer, respectively. Total density of the seed bank and also the seed bank ratio of the lower soil layer increased with tree age. The accumulated seed bank of R. pseudoacacia should be considered in the careful planning of tree replacement operations in Pinus nigra stands.
Afforestation; dormancy; Pinus nigra; plantation; Robinia pseudoacacia; seed germination; soil seed bank