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Effect of Leaf Litter on Seed Survival of Kmeria septentrionalis in Karst Habitat

Effect of Leaf Litter on Seed Survival of Kmeria septentrionalis in Karst Habitat

Guo-Hai Wang1,2,3, Chuang-Bin Tang1, Yuan-Xin Yang1, Yan-Ling Huang1, Wei-Ning Tan4, Qi-Hai Zhou3* and Chang-Hu Lu2*

1College of Chemistry and Bioengineering, Guangxi Normal University for Nationalities, Chongzuo 532200, Guangxi, China
2College of Biology and the Environment, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing, 210037, China
3Key Laboratory of Ecology of Rare and Endangered Species and Environmental Protection, Ministry of Education, Guangxi Normal University, Guilin, 541004, China.
4Management Bureau of Mulun National Nature Reserve, Huanjiang, 547100, China
* Corresponding author:;


It is generally accepted that leaf litter covering plant seeds may be beneficial for seed survival, but it is unclear whether leaf litter contributes to the survival of Kmeria septentrionalis seeds in karst habitat. Herein, we investigated the seed removal of K. septentrionalis by rodents at different locations (beneath and away from the mother tree) using two treatments (leaf litter coverage and control) to clarify the effect of leaf litter coverage on seed survival. The average seed survival rate with leaf litter covering was substantially higher than that of the control (29.36±6.54% vs. 17.07±5.57%), as was seed survival time (9.38±0.74 d vs. 4.96±0.60 d). The average seed survival rates beneath the mother tree (21.14±5.82%) was lower than that away from the mother tree (25.29±6.48%). Seed survival rate was significantly affected by leaf litter (P<0.001). Finally, as all the seeds were completely consumed or removed by rodents, we deduced that leaf litter coverage only prolonged the seed survival time of K. septentrionalis but did not improve seed survival rate. Our results indicate that the higher predation rate of seeds by rodents may be the main reason for the endangerment of this plant.

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology


Vol. 55, Iss. 4, Pages 1501-2000


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