Seed inputs to microsite patch recovery on two tropandean landslides in Ecuador

Seed inputs to microsite patch recovery on two tropandean landslides in Ecuador


Regeneration of landslides is typically initiated by seed rain. This study reports on seed rain, seed pool, and plant cover on two Ecuadorian landslides.

Research goals & methods

Plots were established on landslides and on adjacent undisturbed soil. Across all plots, 1304 seeds were trapped with a majority in the family Asteraceae. 475 seedlings emerged from soil samples, including nonvascular and vascular families; species in Asteraceae dominated, with species in Piperaceae also very common. Plant cover on undisturbed soil consisted of members of four fern families and 20 vascular plant families—with species in Asteraceae, Melastomataceae and Poaceae most common. This was scored as a percentage of total area.

Conclusions & takeaways

Principal components analysis showed that spatial variation for all three of these plant life stages was dominated by differences between the two landslides rather than within-landslide plot differences. Analysis also showed that plots separated best on axes defined by the families Cecropiaceae, Urticaceae, Melastomataceae, Papilionaceae, Asteraceae, and Araceae with clumping of families suggesting common successional strategies. Another multivariate technique, canonical correspondence analysis (CCA), showed that the combined seed rain and seed pool data could predict the percent cover of the family Verbenaceae and that the current plant cover families could predict Asteraceae seeds and seedlings.


Myster RW, Sarmiento FO. Seed Inputs to Microsite Patch Recovery on Two Tropandean Landslides in Ecuador. Restoration Ecology. 1998;6:35–43. doi:10.1046/j.1526-100x.1998.00615.x.


  • Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Studies, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Institute of Ecology, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA