Soil seed bank (SSB) represents potential plant communities, which is essential in the restoration of degraded ecosystems. Consequently, SSB is crucial in the reconstruction and recovery of aboveground plants because they largely determine the process and direction of vegetation restoration. SSB is also important indicators that can be used to evaluate the effects of management on degraded desert steppe. Here, field sampling and soil seed germination experiments were used to investigate the role of SSB in the recovery of degraded desert steppe. Results indicated that (1) the species composition of SSB and ground vegetation significantly differed in different aged Caragana microphylla plantation and control in the Yanchi County. (2) The abundance of SSB was significantly promoted by C. microphylla plantation. The average seed density in Caragana plantation SSB was 11248.75 m−2, which was 17 times than that of SSB in areas without C. microphylla plantation. (3) The ages of C. microphylla plantation were closely related to the composition and density of SSB.
Part of the book: Deserts and Desertification