Dynamics of seed populations of Rumex crispus and Rumex obtusifolius (Polygonaceae) in disturbed and undisturbed soil.

Published online
01 Jan 1980
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Weaver, S. E. & Cavers, P. B.

Publication language


Seed longevity and germination in various situations were examined in Rumex crispus and R. obtusifolius. The % germination of both spp. was significantly reduced by burying achenes in the soil to depths of 1 cm or more. The effect was greater for R. crispus than for R. obtusifolius. The % emergence of both spp. in the field was lower when large patches of soil (625 cm2) were disturbed than when small patches (25 or 100 cm2) were disturbed; however, % emergence was not affected by sowing density between 1 and 4 achenes/cm2. In contrast, the number of seedlings that survived the winter was related more to patch size than to sowing density and was greatest at the largest patch size. Similar numbers of seedlings of the 2 spp. emerged during the first 18 months but more achenes of R. crispus than of R. obtusifolius remained viable after being sown on the soil surface. Soil disturbance during the year following sowing did not significantly affect the number of viable achenes remaining in the soil. The results are discussed in relation to the dynamics of seed populations in disturbed and undisturbed soil. From summary.

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