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Detecting seed bank influence on plant metapopulation dynamics

Abstract : Seed banks are known to play a key role in plant metapopulations. However, detecting seed banks remains challenging and requires intense monitoring efforts. Assessing the genuine effect of seed banks on plant metapopulation dynamics (rather than their presence) may offer a much easier while still biologically relevant way to overcome this issue. In this study, we developed a new metric: the seed bank characteristic event (SBCE) probability. Instead of detecting seed bank directly, the SBCE probability measures seed bank contribution to the observed metapopulation dynamics. Exploring seed bank parameters (colonization, germination and seed bank death probabilities, initial proportion of patches containing a seed bank), a wide range of monitoring durations (from 3 to 10 years) and number of patches in the metapopulation (from 10 to 1,000 patches), we examined the conditions under which the SBCE probability is correctly estimated. To test the robustness of our approach, we further introduced false negatives, false positives or parameter heterogeneity between patches. Finally, we applied the SBCE probability method to the monitoring of tree bases plant species in Paris, France, to assess the applicability of the method to real‐world datasets and increase the understanding of plant metapopulation dynamics within an urban environment. Our results indicate that the SBCE probability is well‐estimated when enough monitoring years or number of patches are considered, and for probabilities of false negatives or false positives of up to 0.1. However, the SBCE probability estimation is not robust to colonization probability heterogeneity between patches. When we applied the SBCE probability method to the real monitoring dataset, we found a contrasted contribution of the seed bank to the observed metapopulation dynamics from one street and one species to another. The study suggests that the measurement of seed bank contribution is less data‐demanding than assessment of seed bank presence. Applying the estimation method to the monitoring of tree bases plant species highlights a significant contribution of the seed bank to plant metapopulation dynamics in an urban environment, and illustrates how the method can be applied on real‐world datasets.
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Contributor : Apolline Louvet <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 5:01:05 PM
Last modification on : Monday, May 31, 2021 - 1:52:02 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - 11:51:27 PM



Apolline Louvet, Nathalie Machon, Jean‐baptiste Mihoub, Alexandre Robert. Detecting seed bank influence on plant metapopulation dynamics. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 2021, 12 (4), pp.655-664. ⟨10.1111/2041-210x.13547⟩. ⟨hal-03202810⟩



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