Smallflower umbrella sedge is a prolific C3 weed commonly found in rice fields in 47 countries. The increasing infestation of herbicide-resistant smallflower umbrella sedge populations threatens rice production. Our objectives for this study were to characterize thermal requirements for germination of smallflower umbrella sedge seeds from rice fields in California and to parameterize a population thermal-time model for smallflower umbrella sedge germination. Because the use of modeling techniques is hampered by the lack of thermal-time model parameters for smallflower umbrella sedge seed germination, trials were carried out by placing field-collected seeds in a thermogradient table set at constant temperatures of 11.7 to 41.7 C. Germination was assessed daily for 30 d, and the whole experiment was repeated a month later. Using probit regression analysis, thermal time to median germination [θT(50)], base temperature for germination (Tb), and SD of thermal times for germination [σθT(50)] were estimated from germination data, and model parameters were derived using the Solver tool in Microsoft Excel®. Germination rates increased linearly below the estimated optimum temperatures of 33.5 to 36 C. Estimated Tb averaged 16.7 C, whereas θT(50) equaled 17.1 degree-days and σθT(50) was only 0.1 degree-day. The estimated Tb for smallflower umbrella sedge is remarkably higher than that of japonica and indica types of rice, as well as Tb of important weeds in the Echinochloa complex. Relative to the latter, smallflower umbrella sedge has lower thermal-time requirements to germination and greater germination synchronicity. However, it would also initiate germination much later because of its higher Tb, given low soil temperatures early in the rice growing season in California. When integrated into weed growth models, these results might help optimize the timing and efficacy of smallflower umbrella sedge control measures.
Nomenclature: smallflower umbrella sedge; Cyperus difformis L.; CYPDI; rice; Oryza sativa L.