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Influence of Various Environmental Factors on Seed Germination and Seedling Emergence of a Noxious Environmental Weed: Green Galenia (Galenia pubescens)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Ako H. Mahmood
Affiliation:
Centre for Environmental Management, Faculty of Science and Technology, Federation University Australia, PO Box 663, Victoria 3350, Australia
Singarayer K. Florentine*
Affiliation:
Centre for Environmental Management, Faculty of Science and Technology, Federation University Australia, PO Box 663, Victoria 3350, Australia
Bhagirath S. Chauhan
Affiliation:
The Centre for Plant Science, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), The University of Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350, Australia
David A McLaren
Affiliation:
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources and Research Fellow, La Trobe University, AgriBio Centre, Bundoora, Victoria 3083, Australia
Grant C. Palmer
Affiliation:
Centre for Environmental Management, Faculty of Science and Technology, Federation University Australia, PO Box 663, Victoria 3350, Australia
Wendy Wright
Affiliation:
Centre for Environmental Management, Faculty of Science and Technology, Federation University Australia, PO Box 663, Victoria 3350, Australia
*
Corresponding author's E-mail: s.florentine@federation.edu.au

Abstract

Green galenia is a South African woody prostrate perennial that was first recorded in Australia in the early 1900s and has since become a serious threat to indigenous temperate grasslands and surrounding agricultural areas. Laboratory and field based experiments were conducted to examine the effect of environmental factors on the germination and viability of green galenia seed. It was shown that green galenia was able to germinate over a broad range of temperatures, but short bursts (5 min) of high temperatures (80 C to 120 C replicating possible exposures to a fire) reduced seed germination. Seed germination was positively favored by light, declined rapidly in darkness, and decreased by > 80% at a depth of only 0.5 cm in soil. Water stress greatly reduced seed germination (45% germination at osmotic potentials below −0.2 MPa). Germination was completely inhibited at water potentials of −0.4 to −1.0 MPa. This species is moderately tolerant to salinity, with over 50% of seeds germinating at low levels of salinity (60 mM NaCl), and moderate germination (49%) occurring at 120 mM NaCl, it can germinate well in both alkaline (pH 10–83%) and acidic (pH 4–80%) conditions. The results of this study have contributed to our understanding of the germination and emergence of green galenia, and this will assist in developing tools and strategies for the long term management of this noxious weed in Victoria and other parts of Australia.

Type
Weed Biology and Ecology
Copyright
Copyright © Weed Science Society of America 

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Footnotes

Associate Editor for this paper: John L. Lindquist, University of Nebraska.

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