Published online by Cambridge University Press: 12 June 2017
Changes in weed seedbank composition are often monitored by removing seeds from soil samples. One extraction method accomplishes this by creating a slurry of soil and a concentrated inorganic salt solution. Centrifugation is then used to separate constituents of differing densities. We have found that centrifugation of giant foxtail seeds in 3.2 M potassium carbonate solution as conducted in a centrifugation/flotation extraction method can reduce viability as measured by germination and tetrazolium tests. In one experiment, centrifugation/flotation separation reduced germination of giant foxtail seeds from 94 to 52%. The likely cause of seed damage was the high pH of the potassium carbonate solution in conjunction with the increased hydrostatic pressure due to centrifugation. While centrifugation affected quantitative measures of seed viability, it did not alter qualitative viability estimates using a pressure test.
Current address: Department of Plant and Soil Science, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717