Weed seed bank dynamics during a three year crop rotation in Mediterranean semi-arid region (Northwestern Algeria)


  • Lalia Ammar 1 Biology Systems and Geomatics Laboratory, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Life, Agronomy Department, Mascara University, Algeria. 2 Geo-Environment and Space Development Laboratory, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Life, Agronomy Department, Mascara University, Algeria.
  • Abdelkader Harizia Geo-Environment and Space Development Laboratory, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Life, Agronomy Department, Mascara University, Algeria.
  • Kada Righi Biology Systems and Geomatics Laboratory, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Life, Agronomy Department, Mascara University, Algeria.


soil seed bank, seedling emergence method, species diversity, density, semi arid area


A better understanding of the soil seed bank system could help agricultural systems plan more effective weed control strategies. This study aims to assess the qualitative and quantitative soil weed seed bank composition in a cereal crop grown in northern-western Algeria under conventional farming systems and semi-arid conditions. The study was evaluated each autumn for three years (2018-2019-2020). Soil samples were collected from the field zone at each depth category (0-5 cm, 5-15 cm, and 15-30 cm) and evaluated in a temperature-controlled greenhouse over six months using the seedling-emergence method. Several indexes were used to evaluate the seed bank density, diversity, and species composition. Thirty weed plants from seventeen families were recovered from the soil seed bank. Asteraceae and Poaceae were the most dominant families. The density of seed bank species varied significantly between the superficial (0-5 cm), middle depth (5-15cm), and deeper soil depth (15-30 cm). The averages were 14776.08 m-2 (19.01%), 36977.04 m-2 (47.59%) and 25943.06 m-2 (33.4%), respectively. According to our findings, Chenopodium vulvaria, Amaranthus blitoides, and Convolvulus arvensis were abundant. As a result, the weed seed bank research was critical in predicting the size and distribution of viable weed seeds in the soil. It aids in developing a sustainable weed management program in semi-arid areas by providing early warnings of weed community composition and allowing for informed decisions on long-term weed control.


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