1/ Persistent soil seed banks promote invasiveness in plants

With globalization facilitating the movement of plants beyond their native range, we need to know what drives their establishment and spread in new regions. We examined global-scale relationships between naturalization and invasion success, and soil seed bank properties for 2350 plant species. Species forming persistent and dense seed banks were most successful. Knowledge of seed persistence can thus contribute to identifying potentially invasive plants and prevent their introductions.

Schopnost zavlečených rostlin zdomácnět a šířit se ve vztahu k vlastnostem semenné banky
Plants with persistent seed banks are more likely to naturalize and become widespread in a new region to which they were introduced. Forming a dense seed bank provides an additional advantage.

  • Gioria M., Carta A., Baskin C. C., Dawson W., Essl F., Kreft H., Pergl J., van Kleunen M., Weigelt P., Winter M. & Pyšek P. 2021: Persistent soil seed banks promote naturalisation and invasiveness in flowering plants. Ecology Letters 24, 1655 – 1667. doi:10.1111/ele.13783


2/ How herbs prepare for spring: inflorescence preformation prior to winter as a surprisingly widespread strategy that drives phenology of temperate perennial herbs

For 330 species of temperate herbs, we investigated whether leaves, flowers, or even inflorescences form in overwintering buds. We found that up to 34% of the species had already established flowers, and some of them had fully developed flowers. This ability allows them to be the first to flower in the spring and attract the first pollinators. This growth rate can ensure their success in places with a short growing season, such as the understorey of deciduous forests or at high altitudes.

Preformace květenství v pupenech sněženky podsněžníku (Galanthus nivalis).
The inflorescence preformation in overwintering buds of Galanthus nivalis.

  • Schnablová R., Huang L., Klimešová J., Šmarda P. & Herben T. 2021: Inflorescence preformation prior to winter: a surprisingly widespread strategy that drives phenology of temperate perennial herbs. New Phytologist 229, 620 – 630. doi:10.1111/nph.16880