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Seed germination response to high temperature and water stress in three invasive Asteraceae weeds from Xishuangbanna, SW China

First Author: Yuan X

Crassocephalum crepidioides, Conyza canadensis, and Ageratum conyzoides are alien annuals naturalized in China, which produce a large number of viable seeds every year. They widely grow in Xishuangbanna, becoming troublesome weeds that compete with crops for water and nutrients. As seed germination is among the most important life-stages which contribute to plant distribution and invasiveness, its adaptation to temperature and water stress were investigated in these three species. Results showed that: (1) These three species have wide temperature ranges to allow seed germination, i.e., high germination and seedling percentages were achieved between 15êC and 30êC, but germination was seriously inhibited at 35êC; only A. conyzoides demonstrated relative preference for warmer temperatures with approximately 25% germination and seedling percentage at 35êC; (2) light was a vital germination prerequisite for C. crepidioides and A. conyzoides, whereas most C. canadensis seeds germinated in full darkness; (3) Although all three species have good adaptation to bare ground habitat characterized by high temperatures and water stress, including their tolerance to soil surface temperatures of 70êC in air-dried seeds, A. conyzoides seeds exhibited higher tolerance to both continuous and daily periodic high-temperature treatment at 40êC, and to water restriction (e.g., ca. 65% seeds germinated to -0.8 MPa created by NaCl), which is consistent with their field behavior in Xishuangbanna. This study suggests that seed hightemperature tolerance contributes to the weed attributes of these three species, and that adaptation to local micro-habitats is a critical determinant for invasiveness of an alien plant. Introduction Biological invasion caused tremendous environmental and agriculture damage worldwide, which has been listed as one of the most serious problems faced by human beings [1,2]. Asteraceae is one of the angiosperm families producing many of the most troublesome invasive weeds, partly because they are prolific seed producers with the capability to produce small but numerous viable seeds every year, in addition to wind-assisted seed dispersal, rapid growth, a PLOS ONE

Contact the author: Wen B
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Issue: 1
Impact Factor: 2.806
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PubYear: 2018 Jan
Volume: 13
Publication Name: PLoS ONE
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