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Seed rain traps for forest lands: Considerations for trap construction and study design

Marilyn Bittman


Seed rain studies provide valuable information for forest researchers monitoring exotic species invasions. Plant species move through forests primarily as seeds, and this dispersal is critical to future forest composition. In this extension note, seed trap types are briefly outlined and suggestions made for trap selection. Funnel seed traps are recommended for most seed rain studies, and instructions for building a simple and inexpensive funnel seed trap are given. Study design considerations, such as sample adequacy, trap placement, and blocking of stands, are discussed. In addition, practical methods for sorting and identifying collected seeds are described. Seed traps can provide information about seed dispersal in disturbed forests, and give early warning to forest workers concerned with exotic species invasions.


exotic plant species invasion; seed dispersal; seed rain trap; sample design.;Tom R. Cottrell

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