The seed bank and its implications for the diversity of the Submontane Ombrophilous Dense Forest in the Parque Estadual Carlos Botelho, São Paulo State, Brazil

ABSTRACT This study aimed to characterize the composition and dynamics of the species present in the seed bank within the Parque Estadual Carlos Botelho, in a permanent plot of 10 ha subdivided into 256 sub-plots of 20 × 20 m. From these, 25 sub-plots were randomly selected, from which three soil samples of 0.25 × 0.25 × 0.05 m were collected. As a result, 3,204 seeds of 93 species were germinated. The arboreal life form presented 50% of the total germinated seeds, of which 97% were intolerant to shade and 3% tolerant. The dominant dispersal syndrome was the zoochory. The floristic similarity between collectings was low and there was high spatial variation of species. We accept the hypotheses that the species present in the seed bank are predominantly shrubs and trees, shade intolerant and zoochoric, and that the floristic composition varies in time and space.