Assessing Seed Longevity of the Invasive Weed Navua Sedge ( Cyperus aromaticus), by Artificial Ageing

Plants (Basel). 2022 Dec 11;11(24):3469. doi: 10.3390/plants11243469.

Abstract

Navua sedge (Cyperus aromaticus (Ridley) Mattf. & Kukenth) is a significant agricultural and environmental weed found in tropical island countries including north Queensland, Australia. It is a prolific seed producer and consequently forms a high-density seedbank, and therefore understanding the longevity and persistence of the seeds can provide critical information required for the management of this species. A laboratory-controlled artificial ageing experiment was conducted where the seeds were exposed to a temperature of 45 °C and 60% relative humidity for 125 days. Seeds were removed at various times (1, 2, 5, 9, 20, 30, 50, 75, 100 and 125 days) and their viability determined through standard germination tests. It took 20 days in the artificial ageing environment for the seeds to decline to 50% viability which indicates that Navua sedge has relatively short-lived persistent seeds. These findings will assist in developing a better understanding of the seedbank dynamics of this invasive species, allowing managers to tactically implement control strategies and prepare budgets for ongoing treatments, and have implications for the duration and success of management programs.

Keywords: artificial ageing; perennial weed; sedge; seed ageing; seed longevity.

Grants and funding

The PhD scholarship for Aakansha Chadha was funded by Federation University, Australia and the funding for the project was provided by Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Biosecurity Queensland, Australia.