Skip to main content Accesibility Help

Time and Temperature Requirements for Weed Seed Thermal Death

  • Ruth M. Dahlquist (a1), Timothy S. Prather (a1) and James J. Stapleton (a2)

Mortality of weed seeds at temperatures of 39, 42, 46, 50, 60, and 70 C was recorded through time under controlled laboratory conditions similar to those of soil solarization for six weed species: annual sowthistle, barnyardgrass, black nightshade, common purslane, London rocket, and tumble pigweed. Time and temperature requirements for thermal death varied considerably among the species studied. Barnyardgrass, London rocket, and annual sowthistle were more susceptible to heat treatment than black nightshade, common purslane, and tumble pigweed. Temperatures of 50 C and above were lethal for seeds of all species. Common purslane seeds were unaffected at 46 C and below, tumble pigweed and barnyardgrass seeds were unaffected at 42 C and below, and black nightshade seeds were unaffected at 39 C. Nonlinear models for mortality as a function of duration of heat treatment were developed for each species at each temperature at which mortality occurred. These models provide an empirical relationship for the construction of field-applicable decision models that could predict the accumulation of time and temperature combinations for effective solarization of weed seeds.

Corresponding author
Corresponding author's E-mail:
Hide All
Benech-Arnold, R. L., Sanchez, R. A., Forcella, F., Kruk, B. C., and Ghersa, C. M. Environmental control of dormancy in weed seed banks in soil. Field Crop Res. 2000. 67:105122.
Causton, D. R., Elias, C. O., and Hadley, P. Biometrical studies of plant growth, I: the Richards function, and its application in analyzing the effects of temperature on leaf growth. Plant Cell Environ. 1978. 1:163184.
[CDFA] California Department of Food and Agriculture Approved treatment and handling procedures to ensure against nematode pest infestation of nursery stock. Nursery Inspection Procedures Manual. 2002. Sacramento, CA Plant Health and Pest Protection Services, Pest Exclusion Branch, NIPM Item 7. Accessed: June 8, 2005.
Coca, M. A., Almoguera, C., and Jordano, J. Expression of sunflower low-molecular-weight heat-shock proteins during embryogenesis and persistence after germination: localization and possible function implications. Plant Mol. Biol. 1994. 25:479492.
Economou, G., Mavrogiannopoulos, G., and Paspatis, E. A. Stapleton, J.J., DeVay, J.E., Elmore, C.L., ed. Weed seed responsiveness to thermal degree hours under laboratory conditions and soil solarization in greenhouse. Soil solarization and integrated management of soilborne pests 1998. Rome Food Agriculture Organization. Pages 246263. in.
Egley, G. H. High-temperature effects on germination and survival of weed seeds in soil. Weed Sci. 1990. 38:429435.
Forcella, F., Benech-Arnold, R. L., Sanchez, R., and Ghersa, C. M. Modeling seedling emergence. Field Crop Res. 2000. 67:123139.
Grundy, A. C. Predicting weed emergence: a review of approaches and future challenges. Weed Res. 2003. 43:111.
Hesketh, K. A. Solar heating of soil (solarization) as a method of weed control: effects on some weed species and a comparison of plastics. 1984. Davis, CA University of California, Davis. Pages 54. .
Horowitz, M., Regev, Y., and Herzlinger, G. Solarization for weed control. Weed Sci. 1983. 31:170179.
Horowitz, M. and Taylorson, R. B. Effect of high temperatures on imbibition, germination, and thermal death of velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti) seeds. Can. J. Bot. 1983. 61:22692276.
Martinez-Ghersa, M. A., Satorre, E. H., and Ghersa, C. M. Effect of soil water content and temperature on dormancy breaking and germination of three weeds. Weed Sci. 1997. 45:791797.
Medina, C. and Cardemil, L. Prosopis chilensis is a plant highly tolerant to heat shock. Plant Cell Environ. 1993. 16:305310.
Miles, J. E., Kawabata, O., and Nishimoto, R. K. Modeling purple nutsedge sprouting under soil solarization. Weed Sci. 2002. 50:6471.
Moore, R. P. 1973. Tetrazolium staining for assessing seed quality. Pages 347366. in Heydecker, W. ed. Seed Ecology: Proceedings of the Nineteenth Easter School in Agricultural Science. London Butterworths.
Myers, R. H. 1986. Classical and Modern Regression with Applications. Boston, MA Duxbury. 169177.
Peachey, R. E., Pinkerton, J. N., Ivors, K. L., Miller, M. L., and Moore, L. W. 2001. Effect of soil solarization, cover crops, and metham on field emergence survival of buried annual bluegrass (Poa annua) seeds. Weed Technol. 15:8188.
Pullman, G. S., DeVay, J. E., and Garber, R. H. 1981. Soil solarization and thermal death: a logarithmic relationship between time and temperature for four soilborne pathogens. Phytopathology. 71:959967.
Rubin, B. and Benjamin, A. 1984. Solar heating of the soil: involvement of environmental factors in the weed control process. Weed Sci. 32:138142.
Standifer, L. C., Wilson, P. W., and Porche-Sorbet, R. 1984. Effects of solarization on weed seed populations. Weed Sci. 32:569573.
Stapleton, J. J. 2000. Soil solarization in various agricultural production systems. Crop Prot. 19:837841.
Stapleton, J. J. and DeVay, J. E. 1986. Soil solarization: A non-chemical approach for management of plant pathogens and pests. Crop Prot. 5:190198.
Stapleton, J. J., Elmore, C. L., and DeVay, J. E. 2000. Solarization and biofumigation help disinfest soil. Calif. Agric. 54:4245.
Stapleton, J. J., Prather, T. S., Mallek, S. B., Ruiz, T. S., and Elmore, C. L. 2002. High temperature solarization for production of weed-free container soils and potting mixes. HortTechnology. 12:697700.
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: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed