Working together to strengthen and support noxious weed management efforts in Montana.

MSU February Weed Post – Tall buttercup seedling growth along a moisture gradient

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016


… Tall buttercup can displace pasture grasses and clovers and is cause for concern due to its toxicity to livestock, especially cattle. In Montana it has invaded over 20,000 acres and is a Priority 2A noxious weed. Irrigation may create conditions conducive to tall buttercup growth and survival, but the amount of moisture required for optimal seedling emergence and growth has not been explored. Understanding the importance of soil moisture on seedling recruitment can inform effective management strategies.

We conducted a greenhouse study to assess seedling emergence and growth along a gradient of soil moisture. We collected seed from tall buttercup growing in flood and sub-irrigated hayfields in southwestern Montana, planted them in soil in half gallon pots, and subjected them to three soil moisture treatments including 25, 50, and 100 percent field capacity (field capacity = amount of water held in soil after excess water has drained away, usually 24 hours after a wetting event). After 65 days, tall buttercup seedlings in each pot were counted and measured.

Tall buttercup seedling emergence, height, number of leaves, and biomass were all affected by soil moisture…


Download and read the complete weed post: MSU February Weed Post – Tall buttercup seedling growth along a moisture gradient.

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