Seed Longevity and Dormancy State Suggest Management Strategies for Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) and Japanese Stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) in Deciduous Forest Sites
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An effective management plan for invasive herb populations must consider the potential for regeneration from the soil seedbank. To test chis potential, we examined two species, Japanese scilcgrass and garlic mustard, at deciduous forest sites in southeastern Ohio. Seeds were buried in nylon mesh bags and recovered at regular intervals over 24 mo. Recovered seeds were tested for germination and viability. Burial was replicated on north- and south-facing slopes to test for environmental control of dormancy state. Stilcgrass seeds experienced severe mortality in the soil, rarely surviving the full 24 mo. Stiltgrass showed fractional germination in the lab ranging from 86% to 89% of viable seeds in lace spring (the season of natural seedling emergence) to complete nongermination in winter. Most garlic mustard seeds survived through the experimental period (82% and 88% survival across 24 mo) with consistently low mortality (0% to 13%) unrelated to season. Slope aspect had no significant effect on survival or dormancy state in either species. Extrapolation of garlic mustard mortality implies chat reproduction would need to be suppressed for a substantial period (perhaps > 10 yr) to ensure eradication of a population. In scilcgrass, rapid seed mortality suggests chat control can be achieved in 2 to 4 yr.
KeywordsBet hedging; forest herb; fractional germination; invasion; life history; Nepalese browntop; seasonal variation
Redwood, Mame E.; Matlack, Glenn R.; Huebner, Cynthia D. 2018. Seed Longevity and Dormancy State Suggest Management Strategies for Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) and Japanese Stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) in Deciduous Forest Sites. Weed Science. 66(02): 190-198. https://doi.org/10.1017/wsc.2017.74.