No studies (as of 2012) described the potential longevity of soil-stored redosier dogwood seed. The potential for long-distance animal dispersal of redosier dogwood seed makes determination of the source and age of redosier dogwood seed from collected soil samples difficult. Seed banking experiments that involve placing and recovering a known quantity of seeds over time would improve our understanding of redosier dogwood seed banking dynamics. Reviews report that redosier dogwood establishes from heat-activated, soil-stored seed [33,279], and that regeneration is favored by low-severity fires that remove little of the organic layer because of long-term seed bank inputs and a natural filtering of redosier dogwood seeds through the soil surface into the upper mineral soil . Redosier dogwood seedlings established within 1 year of fire in riparian areas burned by low-severity and high-severity fires in the northern Sierra Nevada .
In laboratory studies, dried redosier dogwood seeds stored in sealed containers at 37 to 41 °F (3-5 °C) remained viable for 2 to 4 years .
Few viable redosier dogwood seeds have been found in forest soil samples, regardless of its presence or abundance in aboveground vegetation. In British Columbia, a single redosier dogwood seedling emerged from soil collected in an area with no redosier dogwood shrubs in the aboveground vegetation  but did not emerge from soil collected from an area where redosier dogwood shrubs did occur in the aboveground vegetation . When soil was collected from undisturbed, mid-seral forests and adjacent disturbed power line rights of way in southwestern British Columbia, 1 redosier dogwood seedling emerged from soil collected in the mid-seral forest where redosier dogwood shrubs were absent from the aboveground vegetation . Redosier dogwood did not emerge from any soil samples collected from uncut forest, 1-year-old burns, and 1-year-old clearcuts in south-central British Columbia, although redosier dogwood occurred in the study area (frequency up to 11%) . Only 1 viable redosier dogwood seed was found in soils samples collected from 62- to 180-year-old grand fir/thinleaf huckleberry (Vaccinium membranaceum) stands in central Idaho. Soil samples were collected in the summer and stored at 36 °F (2 °C) . The abundance of redosier dogwood in the aboveground forest vegetation was not reported.
The method used to determine seed bank composition may affect findings relative to redosier dogwood. When seeds were extracted from soil samples collected from a 2-year-old clearcut in southern Ontario, researchers estimated that the soil contained 26.1 redosier dogwood seeds/m². However, no redosier dogwood seedlings emerged when soil samples were put in greenhouse and monitored for 5 months. Soil samples included the humus layer and up to 10 cm of mineral soil. Samples were collected in November, and stored at 41 °F (5 °C) for 2 months before being put in the greenhouse .
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