Submitted to: Weed Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 13, 2006
Publication Date: June 21, 2006
Citation: Davis, A.S. 2006. When does it make sense to target the weed seedbank? Weed Science. 54(3):558-565. Interpretive Summary: done to show the importance of managing weed seedbanks. In this study, I used literature values describing weed population dynamics to run computer simulations of the importance of managing weed seedbanks, in relation to managing other weed life stages. I ran models for giant foxtail and common lambsquarters, summer annual species common to corn and soybean systems, garlic mustard, a biennial invasive weed of temperate forests, and Canada thistle, a perennial weed of pastures and arable fields. I found that the priority of weed seedbank management increases as one proceeds from a perennial to biennial to annual life history. For summer annual weeds, such as giant foxtail and common lambsquarter, reducing inputs to the weed seedbank and reducing weed seedbank persistence should always be high management priorities.
Technical Abstract: Weed seeds form the raw material for most weed invasions of arable fields, yet there is relatively little experimental information on the value of managing weed seedbanks. Matrix population models were used to examine the relative importance of managing weed seedbanks, in relation to other life stages, for four model weed species with varying life histories. Simulations for giant foxtail and common lambsquarters, summer annual weeds of arable fields, garlic mustard, an obligate biennial invasive weed of temperate forests, and Canada thistle, a perennial weed of pastures and arable fields, were run under conditions of varying population density and efficacy of seedling control. The models were subjected to elasticity analysis to determine what happened to weed populations when different life stages were targeted. Reductions in persistence of the dormant seedbank were most important for summer annual weeds, of intermediate importance for biennial weeds, and of low importance for perennial weeds. More effort is needed to develop weed seedbank management techniques for summer annual weed species as part of integrated weed management systems.