Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Simulated Photovoltaic Solar Panels Alters the Seed Bank Survival of Desert Annual Plant Species

Version 1 : Received: 19 July 2020 / Approved: 20 July 2020 / Online: 20 July 2020 (08:55:44 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Hernandez, R.R.; Tanner, K.E.; Haji, S.; Parker, I.M.; Pavlik, B.M.; Moore-O’Leary, K.A. Simulated Photovoltaic Solar Panels Alter the Seed Bank Survival of Two Desert Annual Plant Species. Plants 2020, 9, 1125. Hernandez, R.R.; Tanner, K.E.; Haji, S.; Parker, I.M.; Pavlik, B.M.; Moore-O’Leary, K.A. Simulated Photovoltaic Solar Panels Alter the Seed Bank Survival of Two Desert Annual Plant Species. Plants 2020, 9, 1125.

Journal reference: Plants 2020, 9, 1125
DOI: 10.3390/plants9091125

Abstract

Seed bank survival underpins plant population persistence but studies on seed bank trait-environment interactions are few. Changes in environmental conditions relevant to seed banks occur in desert ecosystems owing to solar energy development. We developed a conceptual model of seed bank survival to complement methodologies using in-situ seed bank packets. Using this framework, we quantified the seed bank survival of two closely related annual desert plant species, one rare (Eriophyllum mohavense) and one common (Eriophyllum wallacei) and the seed bank-environment interactions of these two species in the Mojave Desert within a system that emulates microhabitat variation associated with solar energy development. We tracked 4,860 seeds buried across 540 seed packets and found, averaged across both species, that seed bank survival was 21% and 6% for the first and second growing seasons, respectively. After two growing seasons, the rare annual had a significantly greater seed bank survival (10%) than the common annual (2%). Seed bank survival, across both species, was significantly greater in Shade (10%) microhabitats compared to Runoff (5%) microhabitats and Control microhabitats (3%). Our study confers insight into this early life-stage across rare and common congeners and their environmental interactions using a novel conceptual framework for seed bank survival.

Subject Areas

disturbance; drylands; photovoltaic; plant community; plant traits; rare species; renewable energy; seed traits; seed banks; solar energy

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 22 July 2020
Commenter: Leslie Saul-Gershenz
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: I am wondering about the issue of soil disturbance, did you control invasive plant species seed germination in the experimental plots? Perhaps I missed that. I was wondering if in the shaded areas how invasive species might do vs. rare annual plants vs other annual plants. Also for a pollination perspective, native bee like open sunny areas. That's why diversity is so high in deserts. However, it is true that the Mojave has become drier over 60,000 years hence, some species only emerge in the high precipitation pulse years. I would guess this has affected seed germination traits as well. I am curious to see the pollination success of plants under the shade of PV panels vs plants in the open light. LSG
+ Respond to this comment

We encourage comments and feedback from a broad range of readers. See criteria for comments and our diversity statement.

Leave a public comment
Send a private comment to the author(s)
Views 0
Downloads 0
Comments 1
Metrics 0


×
Alerts
Notify me about updates to this article or when a peer-reviewed version is published.
We use cookies on our website to ensure you get the best experience.
Read more about our cookies here.