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New Zealand Plant Protection 63 (2010): 90-95

Relationship between seedbank and above-ground botanical composition during spring

K.N. Tozer, G.M. Barker, C.A. Cameron and T.K. James

ABSTRACT

Poor pasture persistence and ingress of weedy species are major concerns for farmers. The seedbank gives an indication of what weedy species may establish in pastures and compete with sown species. It was hypothesised that the above-ground composition reflects the seedbank. The seedbank was sampled and botanical assessments were undertaken during October-November 2009 in Northland, Waikato, Taranaki and North Canterbury. Above-ground botanical composition did not reflect the weed seedbank composition in any of the regions assessed. While cover of grasses was greater than legumes and herbs above-ground, weedy herbs were most dominant in the seedbank, followed by grasses then legumes. There was no emergence of sown grass from the seedbank, highlighting the lack of a persistent sown grass seedbank, which may contribute to poor pasture persistence.

Keywords: weed seedbank, pasture persistence, seedling recruitment.

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