Seed bank longevity and age to reproductive maturity of Calotropis procera (Aiton) WT Aiton in the dry tropics of northern Queensland

Bebawi, Faiz F., Campbell, Shane D. and Mayer, Robert J. (2015) Seed bank longevity and age to reproductive maturity of Calotropis procera (Aiton) WT Aiton in the dry tropics of northern Queensland. Rangeland Journal, 37 3: 239-247. doi:10.1071/RJ14130


Author Bebawi, Faiz F.
Campbell, Shane D.
Mayer, Robert J.
Title Seed bank longevity and age to reproductive maturity of Calotropis procera (Aiton) WT Aiton in the dry tropics of northern Queensland
Formatted title
Seed bank longevity and age to reproductive maturity of Calotropis procera (Aiton) WT Aiton in the dry tropics of northern Queensland
Journal name Rangeland Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1036-9872
1834-7541
Publication date 2015-01-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/RJ14130
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 37
Issue 3
Start page 239
End page 247
Total pages 9
Place of publication Clayton, VIC, Australia
Publisher C S I R O Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Understanding the reproductive biology of Calotropis procera (Aiton) W.T. Aiton, an invasive weed of northern Australia, is critical for development of effective management strategies. Two experiments are reported on. In Experiment 1 seed longevity of C. procera seeds, exposed to different soil type (clay and river loam), pasture cover (present and absent) and burial depth (0, 2.5, 10 and 20 cm) treatments were examined. In Experiment 2 time to reach reproductive maturity was studied. The latter experiment included its sister species, C. gigantea (L.) W.T. Aiton, for comparison and two separate seed lots were tested in 2009 and 2012 to determine if exposure to different environmental conditions would influence persistence. Both seed lots demonstrated a rapid decline in viability over the first 3 months and declined to zero between 15 and 24 months after burial. In Experiment 1, longevity appeared to be most influenced by rainfall patterns and associated soil moisture, burial depth and soil type, but not the level of pasture cover. Experiment 2 showed that both C. procera and C. gigantea plants could flower once they had reached an average height of 85 cm. However, they differed significantly in terms of basal diameter at first flowering with C. gigantea significantly smaller (31 mm) than C. procera (45 mm). On average, C. gigantea flowered earlier (125 days vs 190 days) and set seed earlier (359 days vs 412 days) than C. procera. These results suggest that, under similar conditions to those that prevailed in the present studies, land managers could potentially achieve effective control of patches of C. procera in 2 years if they are able to kill all original plants and treat seedling regrowth frequently enough to prevent it reaching reproductive maturity. This suggested control strategy is based on the proviso that replenishment of the seed bank is not occurring from external sources (e.g. wind and water dispersal).
Keyword Calotrope
Giant rubber bush
Reproductive maturity
Rubber bush
Seed persistence
Seed viability
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
 
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Created: Fri, 04 May 2018, 16:27:34 EST by Shane Campbell on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)