Seed dispersal experiment this summer

Our postdocs Xiaolei Su & Lovisa Lind conducted a seed dispersal experiment this summer, and now they’ve completed surveys of the channel geometry. Boreal streams are complex and dynamic systems, characterized by different process domains: rapids, slow flowing reaches and lakes. Plant communities usually differ between these domains. We hypothesize that this is probably caused by differences in their instream propagule dispersal patterns. To test this hypothesis, we released wooden cubes in all three types of domains during the spring flood in the Hjuksån catchment, a tributary of the Vindel River in northern Sweden. To determine which set of environmental factors governing the dispersal patterns, we surveyed wind speed/direction, surface flow velocity and geomorphic channel characteristics of the process domains.

Seed mimics stranded in backwater along rapid section

Seed mimics stranded in backwater along rapid section

Xiaolei records cub locations

Xiaolei records cub locations

Lovisa recollecting dispersed seed mimics

Lovisa recollecting dispersed seed mimics