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Introduction: Belowground bud banks play integral roles in vegetation regeneration and ecological succession of plant communities; however, human-caused changes in land use severely threaten their resilience and regrowth. Although vegetation attributes and soil properties mediate such anthropogenic effects, their influence on bud bank size and composition and its regulatory mechanisms under land use change have not been explored.
Methods: We conducted a field investigation to examine impacts of land use change on bud bank size and composition, vegetation attributes, and soil properties in wetlands (WL), farmlands (FL), and alpine meadow (AM) ecosystems in Zhejiang Province, China.
Results: Overall, 63 soil samples in close proximity to the vegetation quadrats were excavated using a shovel, and samples of the excavated soil were placed in plastic bags for onward laboratory soil analysis. The total bud density (1514.727 ± 296.666) and tiller bud density (1229.090 ± 279.002) in wetland ecosystems were significantly higher than in farmland and alpine meadow ecosystems [i.e., total (149.333 ± 21.490 and 573.647 ± 91.518) and tiller bud density (24.666 ± 8.504 and 204.235 ± 50.550), respectively]. While vegetation attributes critically affected bud banks in WL ecosystems, soil properties strongly influenced bud banks in farmland and alpine meadow ecosystems. In wetland ecosystems, total and tiller buds were predominantly dependent on soil properties, but vegetation density played a significant role in farmlands and alpine meadow ecosystems. Root sprouting and rhizome buds significantly correlated with total C in the top 0 – 10 cm layer of farmland and alpine meadow ecosystems, respectively, and depended mainly on soil properties.
Discussion: Our results demonstrate that land use change alters bud bank size and composition; however, such responses differed among bud types in wetland, farmland, and alpine meadow ecosystems.

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Frontiers in Plant Science





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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.