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Temperature Thresholds for Bud Sprouting in Perennial Weeds and Seed Germination in Cotton

  • Jodie S. Holt (a1) and Deborah R. Orcutt (a1)

Abstract

Experiments were conducted to establish low temperature thresholds for initiation of bud sprouting in dormant vegetative propagules of johnsongrass, purple nutsedge, and yellow nutsedge, and seed germination in cotton. Weed propagule sprouting and cotton seed germination responses to temperature were determined in a series of experiments conducted on a temperature gradient bar. Four calculated indices were used to quantify germination: mean percent germination per day, reciprocal median response time, and two versions of germination rate index. Data were analyzed as a series of regressions of germination indices against temperature. Maximum and minimum temperatures for germination were derived directly from the regressions and compared among species. Yellow nutsedge had the lowest temperature threshold (6 C), while the other species had low temperature thresholds of 11 to 12 C. Upper temperature thresholds were similar among species and ranged from 42 to 44 C. The lower low temperature threshold of yellow nutsedge sprouting compared to those for cotton, johnsongrass, and purple nutsedge suggests that early establishment by yellow nutsedge is an important factor in competitiveness in mixtures of these species. The results presented here suggest that application of principles derived from studies in seed biology might advance our understanding and ability to manage perennial weeds.

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