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New Zealand Plant Protection 65 (2012): 69-73

Adaption of a technique for the accelerated ageing of weed seeds to evaluate their longevity

C.A. Dowsett, T.K. James and P.D. Trivedi


Successful management of weed infestations requires an understanding of their biology including seedbank longevity. The controlled ageing test used by the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew Gardens, was evaluated for several grass and broadleaf weed seeds. The method aims to estimate seed longevity from a seed survival curve, using a controlled environment to accelerate seed ageing. Eight species were tested: nodding thistle (Carduus nutans), white bryony (Bryonia cretica), bat-wing passion flower (Passiflora apetala), butterprint (Abutilon theophrasti), thorn apple (Datura stramonium), apple of Peru (Nicandra physalodes), broomcorn millet (Panicum miliaceum) and yellow bristle grass (Setaria pumila). The suggested measure of longevity is the point where germination has fallen by 50% (P50). Seed survival tested here did not follow the ideal logistic model for analysis. Because of rapid decline in germination, the point where seeds no longer germinate (P0) is considered to be a better measure of seed longevity.

Keywords: controlled ageing test, accelerated ageing, seed testing, seed longevity.

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