Reproductive potential of the alien species Asclepias Syriaca (Asclepiadaceae) in the rural landscape

Péter Csontos, Erika Bózsing, Imre Cseresnyés, Károly Penksza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the beginning of its introduction Common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca L. was used in Hungary as ornamental plant. After escaping from cultivation it has become wide spread during last decades of the 20th century. Nowadays, it covers large areas especially on sandy soils, and its further appearance is expected on dry, deforested and degraded areas. Two neglected fields and one abandoned vineyard were selected. For sampling two quadrates of size 4 m 2 were used at each stand. The stands were characterized by the following variables: density of stems, percentage of reproductive stems, average number of inflorescences, average number of fruits, fruits per all inflorescences on a stem, pods per fruited inflorescences on a stem, average number of seeds per fruit. In the same quadrates the soil seed bank was studied at two depths (0-5 cm and 5-10 cm). The results snowed that the density of stand, percentage of reproductive specimens and average number of fruits were significantly higher on the neglected fields than on the abandoned vineyard. In the neglected fields large number of seeds were detected in the upper soil-layer (2.7- 18.6 x 103 seeds m-2), but in the lower soil-layer much fewer seeds were found and only in one of the fields. Common milkweed seeds were almost completely missing from both soil layers of the abandoned vineyard. However, the seeds recovered from the soils practically did not germinated, indicating that seeds of earlier years sets have lost viability, i.e. the studied stands of A. syriaca did not form a persistent soil seed bank. Nevertheless, the fresh seed production of the neglected field populations, that can reach 7-10 thousands seeds m-2, may cause a very strong propagulum load not only in the site but also on the surrounding areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-388
Number of pages6
JournalPolish Journal of Ecology
Volume57
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 12 2009

Keywords

  • Asclepias syriaca
  • Reproductive capacity
  • Seed production
  • Soil seed bank
  • Stand density
  • Weed control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

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