Annals of Botany News in Brief

Explaining seed bank size of an invasive shrub

Bakker et al. find a positive relationship between plant size (V) and seedbank size (S), the SV relationship, using the invasive shrub Ulex europaeus as an example. Bigger plants produce more seeds and ultimately accumulate more seeds in the soil.

Compared to the native context (France), the absence of pre-dispersal seed predators in La Réunion along with higher soil fertility could explain the change of the SV relationship in this region. Seedbanks in New Zealand appear higher because of bigger (potentially older) shrubs. In addition, decrease of seed pre-dispersal predation is likely to be involved in the increase of the intercept. Both plant size and seedbank size can be modified to control this invasive species.