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Germination ecology of hairy fleabane (Conyza bonariensis) and its implications for weed management

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 April 2020

Deepak Loura
Master’s Scholar, Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, Haryana, India; past: Intern, Centre for Crop Science, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, University of Queensland, Gatton, Queensland, Australia
Bachelor of Science Scholar, Mata Gujri College, Punjabi University of Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab India; current: Intern, Centre for Crop Science, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, University of Queensland, Gatton, Queensland, Australia
Singarayer Florentine
Professor, Centre for Environmental Management, School of Life and Health Sciences, Federation University Australia, Mount Helen, Victoria, Australia
Bhagirath Singh Chauhan*
Principal Research Fellow, Centre for Crop Science, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation and School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University of Queensland, Gatton, Queensland, Australia
Author for correspondence: Bhagirath S. Chauhan, Centre for Crop Science, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) and School of Agriculture and Food Sciences (SAFS), University of Queensland, Gatton, QLD4343, Australia. (Email:


Hairy fleabane [Conyza bonariensis (L.) Cronquist] is a problematic weed in Australian no-till cropping systems. Consequently, a study was conducted to examine the effect of temperature, light, salt stress, osmotic stress, burial depth, and sorghum crop residue on germination and emergence in two populations (C and W: collected from chick pea [Cicer arietinum L.] and wheat [Triticum aestivum L.] fields, respectively) of C. bonariensis. Both populations were able to germinate over a wide range of alternating day/night temperatures (15/5 to 35/25 C); however, the C population had optimum (and similar) germination over the range of 20/10 and 30/20 C, while the W population showed maximum germination at 25/15 C. A negative relationship was observed between osmotic potential and germination, with 31% and 14% germination of the C and W populations at −0.6 MPa, respectively. These observations suggest that population C was more tolerant to higher osmotic potentials than population W. Seeds of both populations germinated when exposed to a wide range of sodium chloride levels (NaCl, 0 to 200 mM); however, beyond 200 mM NaCl, no germination was observed in either population. Maximum germination of the C (70%) and W (41%) populations was observed on the soil surface with no emergence from a burial depth of 1 cm. The application of sorghum residue at an amount of 6,000 kg ha−1 reduced emergence of the C and W populations by 55% and 58%, respectively, compared with the no-residue treatment. Knowledge gained from this study suggests that the following strategies could be used for more efficacious management of C. bonariensis: (1) a shallow-tillage operation to bury weed seeds in conventional tillage systems, and (2) retention of sorghum residue on the soil surface in no-till systems.

Research Article
© Weed Science Society of America, 2020

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Associate Editor: Chenxi Wu, Bayer U.S. – Crop Science


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