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Germination, emergence, and persistence of Sonchus oleraceus, a major crop weed in subtropical Australia.

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Widderick, M. J., Walker, S.R., Sindel, B.M. and Bell, K. L. (2010) Germination, emergence, and persistence of Sonchus oleraceus, a major crop weed in subtropical Australia. Weed Biology and Management, 10 (2). pp. 102-112.

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1445-6664.2010.00370.x


Sonchus oleraceus (common sowthistle) is a dominant weed and has increased in prevalence in conservation cropping systems of the subtropical grain region of Australia. Four experiments were undertaken to define the environmental factors that favor its germination, emergence, and seed persistence. Seeds were germinated at constant temperatures between 5 and 35C and water potentials between 0 and -1.4 MPa. The maximum germination rate of 86-100% occurred at 0 and -0.2 MPa, irrespective of the temperature when exposed to light (12 h photoperiod light/dark), but the germination rate was reduced by 72% without light. At water potentials of -0.6 to -0.8 MPa, the germination rate was reduced substantially by higher temperatures; no seed germinated at a water potential >-1.0 MPa. Emergence and seed persistence were measured over 30 months following seed burial at 0 (surface), 1, 2, 5, and 10 cm depths in large pots that were buried in a south-eastern Queensland field. Seedlings emerged readily from the surface and 1 cm depth, with no emergence from below the 2 cm depth. The seedlings emerged during any season following rain but, predominantly, within 6 months of planting. Seed persistence was short-term on the soil surface, with 2% of seeds remaining after 6 months, but it increased with the burial depth, with 12% remaining after 30 months at 10 cm. Thus, a minimal seed burial depth with reduced tillage and increased surface soil water with stubble retention has favored the proliferation of this weed in any season in a subtropical environment. However, diligent management without seed replenishment will greatly reduce this weed problem within a short period.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Keywords:Conservation; cropping systems; emergence; Sonchus oleraceus; environmental factors; germination; persistence; photoperiod; seedlings; seeds; soil; soil water; stubble; subtropics; temperature; tillage; water potential; weeds; daylength; soil cultivation; soil moisture; subtropical zones.
Subjects:Plant pests and diseases > Pest control and treatment of diseases. Plant protection
Plant pests and diseases > Weeds, parasitic plants etc
Live Archive:15 Nov 2010 05:26
Last Modified:23 Feb 2023 01:16

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