The effects of seed burial and soil disturbance on emergence and survival of arable weeds in relation to minimal cultivation.
Seeds of 16 arable weed spp. collected in 1977 were sown outdoors in boxes or pots at various depths. Most grass spp. emerged in the autumn, while many dicotyledonous spp. emerged in spring. Seedling emergence of small-seeded spp. was reduced by soil burial, but was increased in large-seeded spp. Numbers of viable ungerminated seeds remaining after 2 yr were least for surface sown seed and greatest for buried undisturbed seed; Alopecurus myosuroides, Viola arvensis, Papaver rhoeas and Polygonum aviculare were most frequent. It was concluded that annual grass weeds are encouraged by current agronomic practices, while annual dicotyledons are likely to decline.