White horehound (Marrubium vulgare L.), is a troublesome weed of arid zones, particularly in cropping and grazing areas. Understanding the seed ecology of white horehound is relevant to its management. The present study investigated the effects of temperature, light, osmotic potential, salinity, pH, and seeding depth on seed germination and seedling emergence of white horehound. Seeds germinated over a wide range of temperatures, with highest germination (100%) occurring at 25/20°C in either 12-h alternating light/dark or complete darkness. Germination decreased from 92% to 10% as the osmotic potential decreased from 0 to minus 0.6MPa and germination was completely inhibited at minus 0.8MPa. Increasing concentration of sodium chloride (salinity) from 50 to 150mM reduced germination from 68% to 11% but was completely inhibited at 200mM. Germination was not limited by variation of pH in solutions of pH 5 to pH 10. Maximum germination (99%) occurred at pH 7, but slightly decreased (90%) in acidic or alkaline media. Surface located seeds were highly germinable (87%) where seedling emergence significantly declined as seeding depth increased from 0.5 to 3cm. Nil seedling emergence was occurred at 4cm burial depth. Light significantly affected germination, time to 50% germination, mean germination time and germination index. Increasing osmotic and salinity stress both significantly increased the time to start germination, time to 50% germination, mean germination time, but decreased germination index. Burial depth adversely affected seedling emergence with surface located seedlings emerging earlier (4.2 days) compared with 20 days for seeds buried at 3cm. Results suggest that effective management of white horehound should consider targeting surface located seeds in combination with tools that induce minimal soil disturbance, particularly in relatively non-saline environments.
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.