Shrub cover and fire history predict seed bank composition in Great Basin shrublands

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This study found that fire frequency and a coarse measure of grazing use were not highly predictive of seed bank dynamics, with the exception that sites that burned <10 years ago had greater above-vs. below-ground similarity. Shrub cover predicted multiple below-ground characteristics: Ericameria nauseosa was associated with increased density of introduced species, Chrysothamus viscidiflorus was associated with increased densities of native annual species, and Artemisia tridentata was associated with increased richness of rare native species. Shrub cover estimates were predictive of seed bank composition, and suggest that areas dominated by A. tridentata would have the greatest restoration potential within their seed banks.

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