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Title: Seed-bank and seedling dynamics in 'Hyparrhenia hirta' are influenced by herbicide application and mowing management
Contributor(s): Chejara, Vinod K (author); Kristiansen, Paul  (author)orcid ; Sindel, Brian M  (author)orcid ; Whalley, Ralph D  (author)orcid ; Nadolny, Christopher (author)
Publication Date: 2012
DOI: 10.1071/RJ11057
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Abstract: 'Hyparrhenia hirta' (L.) Stapf (Coolatai grass) is a summer-active, C₄ perennial tussock grass native to southern Africa and the Mediterranean region, which has invaded areas of native flora in Australia in recent decades. Understanding its seed and seedling dynamics and how various management treatments (e.g. mowing, herbicide and no management) affect these may assist in identifying the conditions and management strategies required to limit its invasion. The population dynamics of 'H. hirta' have not been comprehensively studied previously. A 2 year field experiment (December 2005-December 2007) was conducted to determine the seed-bank size, pattern of seedling emergence and survival of 'H. hirta' seedlings at three sites in northern New South Wales, Australia, under three treatments: unmanaged (control), mowing and herbicide treatments. The density of 'H. hirta' seeds in the soil at each experimental site under different treatments was measured in December 2005 at the start of the experiment, in December 2006 before the application of the second round of treatments and again at the end of the experiment in December 2007. 'Hyparrhenia hirta' seedlings were assessed at monthly intervals in permanent quadrats (0.5) to determine seedling emergence and survival. Seedling emergence occurred on many occasions during the 2 year period of the experiment in each treatment and at all sites but the main seedling flushes were observed from mid summer to early autumn. In 2007 at all sites seedling emergence declined by more than 90% on the mowing and herbicide treatments compared with the control treatment. Seedling survival was greater in the mowing and herbicide treatments than in the control treatment. The seedling cohorts emerging in winter had a lower survival. This study showed that 'H. hirta' infestations have a large viable seed bank (~3000m-²) dependent on the level of infestation and climatic conditions but that the seed-bank declines rapidly when seed addition is prevented. Some form of direct control of established 'H. hirta' plants in combination with providing appropriate grazing management to encourage competition between grasses will assist in the control of 'H. hirta'.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: The Rangeland Journal, 34(2), p. 199-210
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1834-7541
Field of Research (FOR): 070308 Crop and Pasture Protection (Pests, Diseases and Weeds)
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 960403 Control of Animal Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments
820599 Winter Grains and Oil seeds not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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