Seed production and subsequent seed germination of Senecio vulgaris (groundsel) grown alone or in autumn-sown crops

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Lutman, P. J. W., Berry, K. J. and Freeman, S. E. 2008. Seed production and subsequent seed germination of Senecio vulgaris (groundsel) grown alone or in autumn-sown crops. Weed Research. 48 (3), pp. 237-247.

AuthorsLutman, P. J. W., Berry, K. J. and Freeman, S. E.
Abstract

Senecio vulgaris is a common weed of agriculture in the UK, but is also of food value to invertebrates and birds. Thus, it may be beneficial to retain it within agricultural ecosystems to enhance overall biodiversity. A less intensive approach to weed management requires a sound understanding of weed population dynamics so as to avoid unacceptable population growth. Experiments were carried out in 2003 and 2004 to assess seed production, and subsequent germination, by S. vulgaris growing alone, in winter wheat, or in winter field beans. Plant and seed samples were collected during May and June. There was a strong allometric relationship between capsule number and plant weight, irrespective of the year or the presence of crop competition. Numbers of seeds/capsule varied slightly from 51 to 66 seeds per capsule. Plants growing alone were estimated to produce 8471 to 12 887 seeds per plant, whilst those in wheat only 923 to 2156. Germination tests in Petri dishes in incubators showed that virtually all seeds were viable and germinated under daily alternating light:dark conditions within 10 days. Seeds in continuous dark germinated less readily, reaching only 30% after 21 days. On the basis of this and other published work, it would appear that the retention of S. vulgaris in arable fields will not pose a major threat to the long-term viability of crop production.

KeywordsAgronomy; Plant Sciences
Year of Publication2008
JournalWeed Research
Journal citation48 (3), pp. 237-247
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/j.1365-3180.2008.00625.x
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Funder project or codeCentre for Sustainable Pest and Disease Management (PDM)
Parameterising the biology and population dynamics of weeds in arable crops to support more targeted weed management
ISSN00431737
PublisherWiley

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