Seed banks are important for understanding vegetation dynamics and habitat regeneration potential. Biancana badlands are vanishing landscapes where recurring and non-recurring management has been advocated to restore vegetation. Here, we investigated germinable seed bank structure and composition of a biancana badland in central Italy and evaluated the relationship between the standing vegetation and soil seed bank. We identified four land cover classes in five biancana badlands of Tuscany (central Italy) and collected data from 132 vegetation plots and 660 soil cores. We recorded 117 species in the standing vegetation. The seedlings that emerged from the soil samples, mostly annual species, numbered 183 and belonged to 31 taxa (392.5 seedlings/m−2
on average across the four land cover classes). Standing vegetation showed an aggregated spatial pattern with distinct communities while the seed bank showed a less aggregated spatial pattern. The similarity between the seed bank and standing vegetation was low. In contrast with the features generally found for disturbed and pioneer communities, but in line with seed bank characteristics of other badlands, the seed bank was particularly poor in species.
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