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Effects of the seed weight and burial depth on the seed behavior of common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)


  • Communicated by T. Yoshioka.

  • The authors do not have any commercial interest in the findings presented.

Jean-Philippe Guillemin, AgroSup Dijon – UMR 1210 Biologie et Gestion des Adventices, 26 bd Docteur Petitjean, BP 87999, F-21079 Dijon, France. Email:


Common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) is one of the annual plants that were described recently as invasive weeds in Europe. This species is described as an invasive plant that produces seeds that are highly variable. Its production of variably sized seeds is regarded as promoting its spread in different environments. Experiments were carried out to determine the influence of the seed weight and temperature on germination and the influence of the seed weight and burial depth on seedling emergence. The seeds were divided into a number of classes of weight and the seed weight effect on germination was evaluated by Petri dish assays. In another experiment, the seeds were buried at different depths in a clay soil/sand mix to estimate the burial effect on germination and seedling emergence. The germination level of A. artemisiifolia was high overall, between 76.8% and 94.2%. The seed germination was modified by temperature but it was not influenced by the seed weight. The amounts of germination and seedling emergence were greater for the seeds on the soil surface and decreased with an increasing burial depth, from 2 to 8 cm. No germination or emergence was observed for the seeds that were buried at 10 and 12 cm. The lightest seeds were more sensitive to burial. A greater level of seedling emergence for those seeds that were placed near the soil surface could explain the success of this species in open habitats, where the probability of deeper burial is low. After high seed production, the management of A. artemisiifolia in fields could be partly achieved through soil tillage, burying seeds below 10 cm, and not carrying out deep soil tillage the following year.