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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGICALLY AND ECOLOGICALLY BASED KNOWLEDGE FOR INTEGRATED WEED MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

Location: Global Change and Photosynthesis Research Unit

Title: Maternal and Burial Environment Effects on Seed Mortality of Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti) and Giant Foxtail (Setaria faberi)

Authors
item Schutte, Brian
item Davis, Adam
item Renner, Karen - MICHIGAN ST UNIVERSITY
item Cardina, John - THE OHIO ST UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Weed Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 22, 2008
Publication Date: September 25, 2008
Citation: Schutte, B.J., Davis, A.S., Renner, K., Cardina, J. 2008. Maternal and Burial Environment Effects on Seed Mortality of Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti) and Giant Foxtail (Setaria faberi). Weed Science. 56(6):834-840.

Interpretive Summary: Weed seed mortality in the soil seedbank is likely to be influenced by the maternal environment during seed development because the primary defense against seed mortality, the seed coat, is maternally derived. Our central hypothesis was that relative rates of seed mortality for seed lots of contrasting maternal environments would remain consistent across burial environments. This hypothesis was supported by field experiments in Michigan and Ohio in 2003 and 2004. In both years, relative differences among velvetleaf seed lots were consistent across burial environments, and for giant foxtail consistent differences were detected in one of two years. The direction of relationships between lots varied between years, indicating that maternal environment may have been more important than seed lot genetics in determining seed persistence in the soil seedbank. Within years, variation in mortality was accounted for by changes in soil moisture in the burial environment, and was associated with periods of high soil moisture. Our results indicate that agronomic practices affecting the seed maternal environment and soil moisture levels may influence rates of weed seed demise.

Technical Abstract: Weed seed mortality in the soil seedbank is likely to be influenced by the maternal environment during seed development because the primary defense against seed mortality, the seed coat, is maternally derived. Our central hypothesis was that relative rates of seed mortality for seed lots of contrasting maternal environments would remain consistent across burial environments. Velvetleaf and giant foxtail seed mortality after one year was studied in a factorial experiment that included, for each species, two seed lots, two burial locations, and two seedbank study methods. Two runs were conducted in consecutive years. When examined across all treatment levels, un-enclosed seeds ("seeded cores") and seeds enclosed within mesh bags exhibited similar levels of seedbank persistence (r = 0.90, P < 0.001) and seed mortality (r = 0.65, P = 0.006). Across lots, burial locations and years annual seed mortality for velvetleaf ranged from 15.9 ± 9.2% to 56.4 ± 5.4% and for giant foxtail ranged from 26.9 ± 10.1% to 90.9 ± 3.3%. In both years, relative differences among velvetleaf seed lots were consistent across burial environments, and for giant foxtail consistent differences were detected in one of two years. The direction of relationships between lots varied between years, indicating that maternal environment may have been more important than seed lot genetics in determining seed persistence in the soil seedbank. Within years, variation in mortality was accounted for by changes in soil moisture in the burial environment (R2 = 0.47, P < 0.001 for velvetleaf; R2 = 0.034, P = 0.007 for giant foxtail). Seed mortality was associated with periods of high soil moisture (matric potential = -6 kPa for velvetleaf and -7 kPa for giant foxtail). Our results indicate that agronomic practices affecting the seed maternal environment and moisture levels in the soil seedbank may contribute to weed seed demise.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014
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