Seed bank analysis of tree species in two stands of the Tenerife laurel forest (Canary Islands)
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We analyzed the germination from the seed bank for two laurel forest stands (Moquinal versus Aguirre) of Tenerife collected at two different seasons (summer versus winter). We incubated and monitored germination in greenhouse conditions for 1 year. A high variability in germination was found between trays. Germination was much higher in summer than in winter, especially from Moquinal seed bank. Shade tolerant species (Laurus azorica, Persea indica, Rhamnus glandulosa and Viburnum tinus) have a shorter germination delay than shade-intolerant species (Erica arborea, Erica scoparia and Myrica faya), which dominate the seed bank. The species composition of germinating seeds after one year did not reveal any differences between sites nor between, despite the high differences in number between seasons. We compared the species composition of germinating seeds to that of the canopy (expressed as basal area). The results indicate that the winter seed bank does not significantly differ from the canopy composition in the Aguirre stand. We interpret our results to imply that the Aguirre stand is of an earlier successional stage than the Moquinal stand, because of a higher species richness in the germinated tree seeds, and compositional similarities between the winter seed bank and the canopy (both characteristic of earlier successional stages).