Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
Galinsoga parviflora (Asteraceae) is a widespread annual weed that produces capitula containing both disc achenes with pappus and ray achenes without pappus. The latter are dispersed within a winged structure formed by capitulum bracts. We buried both achene types in an agricultural soil to be exhumed regularly to investigate whether they differed in survival, germinability and fungal colonization in the soil seedbank. Ray achenes remained viable longer than disc achenes, with different loss rates for the achene types. In both cases, loss rate was very high for the first 10 months, and then loss rates for the achene types tended to level off and even converge by the end of the observation period. The percentage of remaining viable disc achenes was always c. 10–15% lower than that of the ray achenes, except on the first and last sampling dates. Germination percentages for viable ray and disc achenes before burial and after exhumation were not statistically different during most of the observation period, except for that between 100 and 200 days of burial (mid-autumn–winter). There, germination of disc achenes reached 26.4% after 126 days of burial, whereas germination of ray achenes was close to zero. In addition, after 779 days, the germinability of ray achenes was 21.3%, whereas it was 0% for disc achenes. Surface-disinfected viable disc and ray achenes had low infection rates (0–15%) for both fungi and bacteria during the observation period. The fungal and bacterial infection peaks for both achene types were asynchronous. In general, the expected difference (lower infection rate for ray achenes) was not observed for fungal or bacterial infection.
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