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Venice Mallow (Hibiscus trionum) Seed Production and Persistence in Soil in Colorado

  • Philip Westra (a1), Calvin H. Pearson (a2), Randal Ristau (a3) and Frank Schweissing (a3)

Abstract

This study was conducted to gain insight into the soil seedbank dynamics of Venice mallow in two irrigated Colorado soils. Venice mallow plants produced an average of 3100 seeds per plant under noncompetitive irrigated conditions. Venice mallow seeds collected from three regions of Colorado and stored at 25 C averaged 95% dormancy and less than 4% nonviable seeds 6 mo after harvesting. Percent nonviable seeds in soil remained relatively constant over 2 yr. Most seeds germinated within the first 3 mo after burial in the first crop production year. Seed dormancy decreased to an average of 40% after 3 mo of burial in cultivated soil at Fruita and Rocky Ford, and thereafter remained relatively constant for 21 mo. Fruita seeds underwent less in situ germination than seeds from Greeley or Rocky Ford. Innate seed dormancy was lower at Fruita (27%) than at Rocky Ford (39%). Enforced dormancy remained constant over a 21-mo period and was similar for both locations (32%). Seeds buried for 2 yr at Fruita underwent greater in situ germination (42%) than at Rocky Ford (27%). At Fruita, the level of enforced dormancy was higher and the level of innate dormancy lower at the 20-cm than the 2-cm depths. Venice mallow seed dormancy likely is due to an impermeable hard seed coat.

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