Field management practices can alter the physical and chemical properties of the soil, also causing changes to the seed bank. Alterations can also occur to the soil microbial community, which in turn can increase or diminish the process of weed seed decay. In this research, the issue of seed degradation was studied in an undisturbed and a no-till soil, trying not only to uncover where seeds are more degraded, but also to investigate the microbial activities that could be involved in this process. Six different weed species, commonly found in northern Italy, were used: Abutilon theopharsti, Alopecurus myosuroides, Amaranthus retroflexus, Digitaria sanguinalis, Portulaca oleracea and Sorghum halepense. Seed decay was tested in two different sites, a no-till field and the adjacent buffer zone. Soil microbial activity was also measured using the Fertimetro, an approach based on the degradation of cotton and silk threads buried in the soil for one week. Degradation of the buried seeds was higher in the no-till field soil than in the buffer strip for all the studied species as was the microbial cellulolytic activity. Even though the buffer strip soil is an undisturbed habitat and resulted as having higher organic matter, the no-till soil conditions appeared more unfavourable to seed viability. Our findings suggest that no-till management can improve weed seed suppression in the soil. Moreover, cellulolytic microorganisms play an important role in seedbank longevity, so cellulolytic activity surveys could be used as an early monitoring bioindicator for weed seed suppression in soil.

Weed seed decay in no-till field and planted riparian buffer zone

Nikolic N.
;
Squartini A.;Concheri G.;Stevanato P.;Zanin G.;Masin R.
2020

Abstract

Field management practices can alter the physical and chemical properties of the soil, also causing changes to the seed bank. Alterations can also occur to the soil microbial community, which in turn can increase or diminish the process of weed seed decay. In this research, the issue of seed degradation was studied in an undisturbed and a no-till soil, trying not only to uncover where seeds are more degraded, but also to investigate the microbial activities that could be involved in this process. Six different weed species, commonly found in northern Italy, were used: Abutilon theopharsti, Alopecurus myosuroides, Amaranthus retroflexus, Digitaria sanguinalis, Portulaca oleracea and Sorghum halepense. Seed decay was tested in two different sites, a no-till field and the adjacent buffer zone. Soil microbial activity was also measured using the Fertimetro, an approach based on the degradation of cotton and silk threads buried in the soil for one week. Degradation of the buried seeds was higher in the no-till field soil than in the buffer strip for all the studied species as was the microbial cellulolytic activity. Even though the buffer strip soil is an undisturbed habitat and resulted as having higher organic matter, the no-till soil conditions appeared more unfavourable to seed viability. Our findings suggest that no-till management can improve weed seed suppression in the soil. Moreover, cellulolytic microorganisms play an important role in seedbank longevity, so cellulolytic activity surveys could be used as an early monitoring bioindicator for weed seed suppression in soil.
2020
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3348876
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