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Wind dispersal of seeds of Parthenium hysterophorus L. (Asteraceae) contributes to its steady invasion and spread

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Mao, R., Osunkoya, O. O., Campbell, S. and Adkins, S. W. (2022) Wind dispersal of seeds of Parthenium hysterophorus L. (Asteraceae) contributes to its steady invasion and spread. Austral Ecology, 47 (4). pp. 791-803. ISSN 1442-9985

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/aec.13159

Publisher URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/aec.13159


Abstract Wind dispersal is considered to be a potentially important mode of spread for parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus L.), an invasive Asteraceae herb of worldwide significance. However, empirical evidence of the role of wind dispersal on the seeds (achenes) of parthenium weed in natural landscapes is lacking. The results of a simulation study undertaken at a wind tunnel facility, Australia, indicated that the dispersal distance of parthenium weed achenes is largely determined by wind velocity (109–131% increase in distance where wind velocity is doubled) and plant release height (75–80% increase when release height is doubled). Glasshouse harvested achenes released from 1 m in height could travel up to 2 m under a 2 m s−1 wind velocity, with the majority of achenes reaching more than 1 m. Smaller-sized achenes travelled 5% further than larger-sized achenes. The terminal velocity was calculated to be 1.256 ± 0.006 m s−1, indicating a moderate wind dispersal ability for the weed. A complementary field study in Southeast Queensland, Australia, indicated that the cumulative wind velocity and wind direction, instead of the mean wind velocity, determined the direction of dispersal of the achenes. Further post-dispersal surveys suggested the number of achenes outside of a standing population declined rapidly as distance from the population increased. Most achenes were dispersed less than 2 m from their parent plant, while the maximum distance achieved was less than 5 m under natural conditions in North Queensland. In conclusion, the natural wind dispersal of parthenium weed consists of small, but measurable increments each year, thus contributing to the weed proliferation and spread at the landscape scale level.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Plants > Impact assessment
Science > Invasive Species > Plants > Weed ecology
Plant pests and diseases
Plant pests and diseases > Weeds, parasitic plants etc
Agriculture > By region or country > Australia > Queensland
Live Archive:08 Mar 2022 23:50
Last Modified:24 May 2022 00:07

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