Photocontrol of weeds requires knowledge about the response of weeds to light and its changes over time. Thus, littleseed canarygrass germination, as an important weed in winter crops, in response to the light environment was evaluated in seeds retrieved from different burial (10, 20, and 40 cm, under irrigated or nonirrigated conditions) or storage (room temperature 25 C and cold 3 C) conditions for 1 yr. Seeds buried in the soil showed a cyclical germination behavior when tested at 20 C, with high germination percentages (68%) occurring in August, October, and December and low percentages (12%) in February and April, with another late germination in June. Germination percentages were mostly higher for seeds incubated in light than in darkness and seeds were more likely to positively respond to light in June than at the other retrieval dates, with differences as great as 60% having been observed under irrigated conditions and at depths of 20 and 40 cm. The most outstanding effect of light as a germination stimulus was observed for seeds stored at room temperature where germination in light was always 20 to 35% higher than that in darkness. The viability of seeds did not change over time in seeds kept at room or cold temperature. However, the proportion of surviving seeds was reduced by 35 to 65% when buried in the soil. Littleseed canarygrass seeds tended to survive more when buried 40 cm deep and the differences between irrigated and nonirrigated conditions were only detectable at 10 cm deep, with higher seed mortalities under irrigated conditions. Information gained in this study would be useful in developing weed control programs for this species.
Nomenclature: Littleseed canarygrass, Phalaris minor Retz.