The research was conducted on four patches of thermophilous oak wood in Białowieża Primeval Forest: A with a woodstand: oak + approx. 30-year-old hornbeam + hornbeam brushwood; B - with a hornbeam stand formed by natural seed fall after logging (ca. 1920) oaks; C - after logging oaks and replanted (ca. 1965) with pine and oak; D - with a natural low-density oak stand. Species composition and seed bank density were estimated using the seedling emergence method. Seedling emergence was observed over two vegetation seasons. Research demonstrated that: 1) the species abundance of the seed banks depends on canopy cover (A, B approx. 50 species; C, D approx. 70 species); 2) the floristical similarity (Sorensen's index) of the seed bank and ground vegetation is higher in the undisturbed patch D (0.50) than in disturbed patches (0.30-0.35); 3) species diversity in plots A, B, C, D (H'=12.5; 13.4; 15.5; 16.9) and seed bank density per m
2 (432.5; 958.0; 1486.5; 2268.0) are negatively correlated with the degree of patch shading; 4) the average weight of diaspores in the seed banks of shady plots is lower (A, B approx. 0.003 g) than that of sunny plots (C, D approx. 0.08 g); 5) the share of long-lived diaspores increases in patches after logging.
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