Seed germination response to temperature for a range of international populations of Conyza canadensis.

Tozzi, E., Beckie, H.J., Weiss, R.M., González-Andújar, J.L., Storkey, J., Cici, S.Z.H., and Van Acker, R.C. (2014). "Seed germination response to temperature for a range of international populations of Conyza canadensis.", Weed Research, 54(2), pp. 178-185. doi : 10.1111/wre.12065  Access to full text


Conyza canadensis is a surface-germinating ruderal facultative winter annual with recruitment that is highly susceptible to changes in microsite conditions. A key adaptive characteristic for a facultative winter annual species, like C. canadensis, is germination response to temperature. The objective of this study was to determine the germination response to temperature for C. canadensis seed sourced from regions around the world with differing climates and, by doing so, gain insight into the role that seed germination biology plays in the adaptiveness and weediness of facultative winter annual weeds. Seed was sourced from populations in Málaga, Spain, Hertfordshire, UK, Shiraz, Iran and southern Ontario, Canada, and grown out in a common garden under controlled conditions to produce seed for this study. These seeds were then subjected to temperatures from 6.5 to 20°C at 1.5°C increments using a thermogradient plate. Cumulative daily germination counts for 30 days were recorded. Results indicated that temperature and source location had a significant effect on germination response. Estimated base germination temperature ranges were significantly different among the populations [Ontario (8–9.5°C), Iran (9.5–11°C), Spain (12.5–14°C), UK (11–12.5°C)], as were accumulated growing degree days (GDDs; d°C) required to reach 50% germination. For three of the four populations, estimated base germination temperature range values were below those previously reported in the literature. These differences are most likely rapid evolutionary adaptations to local climate and highlight the potential C. canadensis has to be problematic as a native and invasive species.

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