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Germination ecology of the weed Parthenium hysterophorus in eastern Ethiopia
Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Ecology .ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6128-1051
2002 (English)In: Annals of Applied Biology, ISSN 0003-4746, Vol. 140, no 3, 263-270 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Germination ecology of Parthenium hysterophorus, recently introduced to Ethiopia, was studied in a series of experiments. Viability of the seeds was greater than 50% after 26 months of burial in the soil indicating the potential build-up of a substantial persistent soil seed bank. A short period of dry storage was sufficient to overcome a light requirement for germination in a minor fraction of the seeds. Likewise, seeds exhumed from burial showed an increase in germination ability in darkness over time, with a weak tendency for seasonal cyclicity in dormancy level at one of two sites. Germination occurred at the mean minimum (10░C) and maximum (25░C) temperatures of the collection sites, as well as over a wide range of fluctuating (12/2░C-35/25░C) temperatures in light. No germination of P hysterophorus seeds occurred at osmotic potentials < -0.52 MPa (at 27░C), the species being less tolerant to moisture stress than sorghum grains. Most seedlings emerged from shallowly buried (< 0.5 cm) seeds and none from more than 5 cm depth. Naturally dispersed seeds required about 60 days, at a hot lowland site, to start emergence despite the presence of adequate rainfall, and higher number of seedlings emerged in undisturbed plots than in hand hoed plots. These experiments and field observations suggest that there are no obvious climatic conditions that may limit the germination of Parthenium hysterophorus in Ethiopia, but a high moisture requirement of the seeds for germination could be the major factor limiting germination during the dry season.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 140, no 3, 263-270 p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-40354DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7348.2002.tb00180.xLocal ID: 53098OAI: diva2:261203
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2014-10-08

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