Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

The effects of depth and fluctuating soil moisture on the emergence of eight annual and six perennial plant species

  • Nathan S. Boyd and Rene C. Van Acker (a1)

Weed seedling emergence is partially dependent on biotic and abiotic conditions directly surrounding the seed. When environmental conditions are appropriate, seed germination and emergence occurs. We studied the impact of seeding depth (surface, 1 to 2, 3 to 4, and 6 to 7 cm) and fluctuating soil moisture regimes (field capacity [FC]–1/3FC–FC; FC–1/6FC–FC) on percent weed emergence in a greenhouse. At FC, wild mustard and field pennycress had the greatest percent emergence when seeds were placed on or near the soil surface, whereas percent emergence of barnyardgrass and round-leaved mallow was unaffected by seeding depth. All the perennials tested had the greatest percent emergence at FC when seeds were placed near or on the soil surface, except for common milkweed which only emerged below the soil surface. When soil moisture levels fluctuated, surface seeds of barnyardgrass, catchweed bedstraw, green foxtail, wheat, and wild oat had less emergence than seeds below the soil surface; field pennycress had increased emergence when the seeds were placed on the surface; and round-leaved mallow and wild mustard emergence was unaffected by seeding depth. The emergence of curly dock, dandelion, and perennial sowthistle was unaffected by seeding depth, whereas foxtail barley and quackgrass emergence was reduced when seeds were placed on the surface and soil moisture fluctuated.

Corresponding author
Corresponding author. Department of Plant Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3T 2N2;
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

K. F. Best , J. D. Banting , and G. G. Bowes 1978. The biology of Canadian weeds. 31. Hordeum jubatum L. Can. J. Plant Sci 58:699708.

R. Cousens and R. Moss 1990. A model of the effects of cultivation on the vertical distribution of weed seeds within the soil. Weed Res 30:6170.

G. W. Cussans , S. Raudonius , P. Brain , and S. Cumberworth 1996. Effects of depth of seed burial and soil aggregate size on seedling emergence of Alopecurus myosuroides, Galium aparine, Stellaria media and wheat. Weed Res 36:133141.

C. Fernandez-Quinantilla , J. L. Gonzalez Andujar , and A. P. Appleby 1990. Characterization of the germination and emergence response to temperature and soil moisture of Avena fatua and A. Sterilis . Weed Res 30:289295.

R. J. Froud-Williams , R. J. Chancellor , and D. S. H. Drennan 1984. The effects of seed burial and soil disturbance on emergence and survival of arable weeds in relation to minimal cultivation. J. Appl. Ecol 21:629641.

R. J. Froud-Williams , D. S. H. Drennan , and R. J. Chancellor 1983. Influence of cultivation regime on weed floras of arable cropping systems. J. Appl. Ecol 20:187197.

J. P. Hazebroek and J. D. Metzger 1990. Environmental control of seed germination in Thlaspi arvense (Cruciferae). Am. J. Bot 77:945953.

R. M. D. Makowski and I. N. Morrison 1989. The biology of Canadian weeds. 91. Malva pusilla Sm. (= Malva rotundifolia L). Can. J. Plant Sci 69:861879.

N. Malik and W. H. VandenBorn 1987. Germination response of Galium spurium L. to light. Weed Res 27:251258.

P. C. Marino , K. L. Gross , and D. A. Landis 1997. Weed seed loss due to predation in Michigan maize fields. Agric. Ecol. Environ 66:189196.

C. L. Mohler 1996. Ecological bases for the cultural control of annual weeds. J. Prod. Agric 9:468474.

C. L. Mohler and A. E. Galford 1997. Weed seedling emergence and seed survival: separating the effects of seed position and soil modification by tillage. Weed Res 37:147155.

G. A. Mulligan and L. G. Bailey 1975. The biology of Canadian weeds. 8. Brassica kaber L. Can. J. Plant Sci 55:171183.

F. D. Povey , H. Smith , and T. A. Watt 1993. Predation of annual grass weed seeds in arable field margins. Ann. Appl. Biol 122:323328.

M. P. Sharma and W. H. Vanden Born 1978. The biology of Canadian weeds. 27. Avena fatua L. Can. J. Plant Sci 58:141157.

J. R. Teasdale and C. L. Mohler 1993. Light transmittance, soil temperature, and soil moisture under residue of hairy vetch and rye. Agron. J 85:673680.

S. E. Weaver and P. B. Cavers 1979. Dynamics of seed populations of Rumex crispus and Rumex obtusifolius (Polygonaceae) in disturbed and undisturbed soil. J. Appl. Ecol 16:909917.

R. C. Van Acker , A. G. Thomas , J. Y. Leeson , S. Z. Knezevic , and B. L. Frick 2000. Comparison of weed communities in Manitoba ecoregions and crops. Can. J. Plant Sci 80:963972.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Weed Science
  • ISSN: 0043-1745
  • EISSN: 1550-2759
  • URL: /core/journals/weed-science
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 3 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 107 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 20th January 2017 - 22nd August 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.