The effect of soil environment on germination and emergence of prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola L.)

Jan Kapeluszny, Małgorzata Haliniarz, Paweł Harasim


In 2007 mature achenes of prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola L.) were collected from a winter wheat crop growing on loess-derived brown earth soil, from the side of a dirt road, and from a hybrid alfalfa crop growing on heavy rendzina soil. In March 2008 the germination ability of achenes and the length of roots and above-ground parts of L. serriola seedlings were determined. The experiment was set up as a completely randomized design in 6 replicates and it was done in dishes. The dishes were filled with loess-derived brown soil and podzolic soil derived from light loamy sand with different pH values of 4.5, 5.5 and 7.0 obtained using laboratory methods. The second experiment evaluated the effect of medium type and light conditions on the germination of Lactuca serriola achenes. The experimental design was the same as in the above described experiment. The study found that there were significantly more germinating seeds from the plants growing in the alfalfa crop and on the dirt roadside compared to the plants from the wheat crop. Emerging plants showed higher germination ability on loess-derived soil with a pH of 5.5 and 7.0 than on podzolic soil derived from sand with the same pH. Lactuca serriola prefers soils rich in calcium compounds, and developing segetal cenopopulations produce diaspores capable of germination, thereby the numbers of individuals can increase and the continuity of this species in crop fields can be maintained. Seeds germinated significantly better in the dark than under the conditions of 12-hour illumination.


Lactuca serriola; germination; emergence; soil; pH; origin of the mother plant; light conditions

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