Seed movement in small-scale vegetation restoration

Carole P. Elliott, Lucy E. Commander, Matthew R. Williams, Peter J. Golos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Quantifying ecological interactions can inform restoration practitioners of the recovery of ecosystem function in restored areas. Plant–animal interactions that move seeds are critical for plant recruitment, animal food sources and ecosystem function, but seed movement immediately after sowing can affect calculations of seedling emergence in restored areas. We set up seed cafeterias in undisturbed, native vegetation and restored areas to quantify and compare the removal of seeds of eight native plant species of banded ironstone ranges to determine the recovery of this ecological interaction and the potential effect on monitoring protocols. Overall, the average amounts of seeds removed from cafeterias over two days were between 17 and 23%, but this varied considerably between replicates. Seeds with or without a food body (i.e. elaiosome) were both removed from cafeterias by invertebrates. Seeds removed by invertebrates (most likely ants) after surface sowing for restoration are expected to negatively affect calculations of seedling emergence because the known quantity of sown seeds has been reduced, deflating emergence calculations. Restoration protocols should consider the potential negative effect of seed movement on seedling emergence. Encouragingly, these restoration areas have maintained ecological interactions that move seeds in the landscape at comparable levels to undisturbed vegetation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-279
Number of pages6
JournalEcological Management and Restoration
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Seed movement in small-scale vegetation restoration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this