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Proceedings of the NZ Plant Protection Conference 52 (1999): 234-239

Survival of giant buttercup seeds buried at different depths in four soils

T.K. James and A. Rahman


The viability of giant buttercup (Ranunculus acris) seed buried at three depths in four different soils in the Waikato region was evaluated over a 16 year period. Most seed buried in the top 2 cm soil layer disappeared within the first year. When buried at 4 6 cm, numbers declined rapidly over the first two years and were no longer found at three of the four sites within 16 years. At the end of the study, up to 22% of the seed was still viable at the 19 - 21 cm depth. If left undisturbed and assuming exponential decay, it could take up to 51 years for deeply buried viable seed numbers to be reduced to 1% of the original number depending on soil type.

Keywords: giant buttercup, Ranunculus acris, buried seed, seed longevity, weed seed.

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