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Effects of temperature and burial on seed germination and persistence of the restricted invasive Stevia ovata in northern Queensland

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Bebawi, F. F., Campbell, S. D., Mayer, R. J., Setter, M. J. and Setter, S. D. (2018) Effects of temperature and burial on seed germination and persistence of the restricted invasive Stevia ovata in northern Queensland. Australian Journal of Botany, 66 (5). pp. 388-397.

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1071/BT18117

Publisher URL: https://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/BT18117


Stevia ovata Willd. is an invasive weed that has become naturalised in northern Queensland, Australia. To aid management of current infestations, this study evaluated seed germination under a range of constant (13−48°C) and alternating (11/7 to 52/42°C) temperature regimes and quantified the potential longevity of soil seed banks. The effect of different soil types, levels of pasture cover and burial depths on seed longevity was investigated in both the dry- and wet-tropics of North Queensland. Germination of S. ovata occurred under a wide range of both constant (13−39°C) and alternating day/night temperatures (16/12 to 52/42°C), but optimum conditions ranged between 24 and 27°C and 24/20 and 37/31°C respectively. As temperatures declined below the optimum, an increasing proportion of seeds went into a state of enforced dormancy. In contrast, higher than optimum temperatures caused a proportion of seeds to lose viability. Differential responses in seed longevity of S. ovata occurred between the two experimental sites. In the wet-tropics, seed viability was <1% after 12 months and fully expired after 18 months, irrespective of burial depth. In the dry-tropics, seeds persisted for longer (nil viability after 24–42 months) and burial depth had a significant effect. Surface located seeds tended to exhibit a faster rate of decline in viability than seeds buried below ground. These findings have implications for the duration of control/eradication programs and also suggest that S. ovata has the potential to greatly expand its current distribution, particularly into cooler areas of Australia.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Keywords:burial depth, germination rate, innate dormancy, seed quiescence, viability.
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Plants > Eradication and containment
Science > Invasive Species > Plants > Weed ecology
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Soils. Soil science
Live Archive:12 Feb 2019 03:00
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:44

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