African mustard (Brassica tournefortii Gouan) is a problematic winter annual weed in Australia. Germination ecology of B. tournefortii may change in response to the maternal environments or habitats in which the plants grow. A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of environmental factors on germination and emergence of four populations of B. tournefortii that were collected from different fields. Averaged over populations, germination was stimulated by dark and was higher at 25/15 C (92%) compared with 15/5 C (76%) and 35/25 C (45%). Averaged over light/dark regimes, at the lowest temperature regime (15/5 C), population A had higher germination than population D; however, at the highest temperature regime (35/ 25 C), population D had higher germination than population A. Populations B and C had higher germination in the temperature range of 25/15 C and 30/20 C compared with 15/5 C, 20/10 C, and 35/25 C. Seeds germinated at a wide range of alternating day/night temperatures (15/5 to 35/25 C), suggesting that seeds can germinate throughout the year if other optimum conditions are available. Population A was more tolerant to water and salt stress than population D. The sodium chloride concentration and osmotic potential required to inhibit 50% germination of population A were 68 mM and –0.60 MPa, respectively. Averaged over populations, seeds placed at 1-cm soil depth had the highest emergence (54%), and burial depth of 8 cm resulted in 28% seedling emergence. Averaged over populations, wheat residue retention at 6,000 kg ha–1 resulted in greater seedling emergence than the residue amount of 1,000 kg ha–1. The results suggest that B. tournefortii will be favored in no-till systems and that the seedbank of B. tournefortii could be managed by tillage regimes that bury its seeds below 8-cm depths and restrict seedling emergence and growth of new plants.
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Vol. 69 • No. 4