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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2015, Article ID 170176, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/170176
Research Article

Effect of Environmental Factors on Germination and Emergence of Invasive Rumex confertus in Central Europe

1Department of Geobotany and Plant Ecology, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, University of Łódź, Banacha 12/16, 90-237 Łódź, Poland
2Department of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, University of Łódź, Banacha 12/16, 90-237 Łódź, Poland

Received 30 April 2015; Accepted 17 June 2015

Academic Editor: Ricardo Aroca

Copyright © 2015 Jeremi Kołodziejek and Jacek Patykowski. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Rumex confertus is a biennial species native to Eastern Europe and Asia, where it thrives on meadow-steppes and glades in forest-steppe. This species has increased its range rapidly within central Europe, yet its biology is not well understood, which has led to poorly timed management. Effects of temperature, light, sodium chloride (NaCl), hydrogen ion concentration (pH), potassium nitrate (KNO3), and polyethylene glycol 6000 on seed germination were examined. Seedling emergence was examined for seeds sown at different depths in sand-filled pots. Seeds of R. confertus were nondormant at maturity. The germination percentage and rate of germination were significantly higher in light than in darkness. Secondary dormancy was induced in these seeds by 12 weeks of dark incubation at 4°C. The seeds of R. confertus undergo a seasonal dormancy cycle with deep dormancy in winter and early spring and a low level of dormancy in early autumn. Germination decreased as soil salinity increased. increased the percentage and rate of germination in the studied species. Decrease in seedling emergence from the seeds buried at >0.5 cm may be due to deficiency of light. From our experiments, we conclude that the weed R. confertus normally becomes established in vegetation gaps or due to disturbance of the uppermost soil layer during the growing season through the germination of seeds originating from a long-lived seed bank.