Davis, A. S., J. Cardina, F. Forcella, G. A. Johnson, G. Kegode, J. L. Lindquist, E. C. Luschei, K. A. Renner, C. L. Sprague, and M. M. Williams. 2005. Environmental factors affecting seed persistence of annual weeds across the U.S. corn belt. Weed Science 53:860-868.
Weed seedbanks have been studied intensively at local scales, but to date, there have been no regional-scale studies of weed seedbank persistence. Empirical and modeling studies indicate that reducing weed seedbank persistence can play an important role in integrated weed management. Annual seedbank persistence of 13 summer annual weed species was studied from 2001 through 2003 at eight locations in the north central United States and one location in the northwestern United States. Effects of seed depth placement, tillage, and abiotic environmental factors on seedbank persistence were examined through regression and multivariate ordinations. All species examined showed a negative relationship between hydrothermal time and seedbank persistence. Seedbank persistence was very similar between the two years of the study for common lambsquarters, giant foxtail, and velvetleaf when data were pooled over location, depth, and tillage. Seedbank persistence of common lambsquarters, giant foxtail, and velvetleaf from October 2001 through 2002 and October 2002 through 2003 was, respectively, 52.3% and 60.0%, 21.3% and 21.8%, and 57.5% and 57.2%. These results demonstrate that robust estimates of seedbank persistence are possible when many observations are averaged over numerous locations. Future studies are needed to develop methods of reducing seedbank persistence, especially for weed species with particularly long-lived seeds.
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