Laboratory experiments were carried out to determine the effect of several environmental factors on seed germination of feather fingergrass, one of the most significant emerging weeds in warm regions of the world. Seed germination occurred over a broad range of temperatures (17/7, 25/10, and 30/20 C), but germination being highest at alternating temperatures of 30/20 C under both 12 h light/12 h dark and 24 h dark conditions. Although seed germination was favored by light, some seeds were capable of germinating in the dark. Increasing salt stress decreased seed germination until complete inhibition was reached at 250-mM sodium chloride. Germination decreased from 64 to 0.7% as osmotic potential decreased from 0 to -0.4 MPa, and was completely inhibited at -0.6 MPa. Higher seed germination (>73%) was observed in the range of pH 6.4 to 8 than the other tested pH levels. Heat shock had a significant effect on seed germination. Germination of seeds placed at 130 C for 5 min was completely inhibited for both dry and presoaked seeds. The results of this study will help to develop protocols for managing feather fingergrass, and to thus avoid its establishment as a troublesome weed in economically important cropping regions.
Hairy fleabane [Conyza bonariensis(L.) Cronquist] is a problematic weed in Australian no-till cropping systems. Consequently, a study was conducted to examine the effect of temperature, light, salt stress, osmotic stress, burial depth, and sorghum crop residue on germination and emergence in two populations (C and W: collected from chick pea [Cicer arietinumL.] and wheat [Triticum aestivumL.] fields, respectively) ofC. bonariensis. Both populations were able to germinate over a wide range of alternating day/night temperatures (15/5 to 35/25 C); however, the C population had optimum (and similar) germination over the range of 20/10 and 30/20 C, while the W population showed maximum germination at 25/15 C. A negative relationship was observed between osmotic potential and germination, with 31% and 14% germination of the C and W populations at -0.6 MPa, respectively. These observations suggest that population C was more tolerant to higher osmotic potentials than population W. Seeds of both populations germinated when exposed to a wide range of sodium chloride levels (NaCl, 0 to 200 mM); however, beyond 200 mM NaCl, no germination was observed in either population. Maximum germination of the C (70%) and W (41%) populations was observed on the soil surface with no emergence from a burial depth of 1 cm. The application of sorghum residue at an amount of 6,000 kg ha(-1)reduced emergence of the C and W populations by 55% and 58%, respectively, compared with the no-residue treatment. Knowledge gained from this study suggests that the following strategies could be used for more efficacious management ofC. bonariensis: (1) a shallow-tillage operation to bury weed seeds in conventional tillage systems, and (2) retention of sorghum residue on the soil surface in no-till systems.