Relationships among weed seed rain, soil seedbank, and seedling recruitment in no-tillage systems were studied from July 1993 to May 1996. Multiple regression analysis indicated that seedling recruitment of only six of the 25 weed species present was correlated with seed rain samples from the previous autumn, spring soil seedbank samples, or a combination of the two. However, seedling recruitment of the dominant annual grasses (yellow foxtail, giant foxtail, and fall panicum in Field 1—1994, Field 2—1995, and Field 3—1996, respectively) was related to seedbank populations or a combination of seedbank and seed rain densities. These grasses accounted for at least 32% of the emerged seedlings, 12 to 78% of the seedbank, and 16 to 77% of the seed rain. Seedling recruitment of large crabgrass and two broadleaf species, Virginia copperleaf and wild carrot, also were described by seedbank densities or a combination of seedbank and seed rain densities. However, both the broadleaf species were minor components of the cropping system, representing ≤ 4% of all seedlings. In each year, the sum of all weeds in the seedbank exceeded 1,300 seeds m−2 (0 to 10 cm deep). The fraction of the total seedbank that emerged each year ranged from 3 to 17%, but there was great variability among species. The aforementioned dominant grasses ranged in emergence from 3 to 25% of their seedbanks. Emergence of other species ranged from a low of 1% for common lambsquarters up to 41% for large crabgrass. Prediction of seedling recruitment from seed rain or seedbank densities was variable; however, combining both components improved the fit of regression describing seedling recruitment.
Nomenclature: Common lambsquarters, Chenopodium album L. CHEAL; fall panicum, Panicum dichotomiflorum Michx. PANDI; giant foxtail, Setaria faberi Herrm. SETFA; large crabgrass, Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop. DIGSA; Virginia copperleaf, Acalypha virginica L. ACCVI; wild carrot, Daucus carota L. DAUCA; yellow foxtail, Setaria (Poir.) Roem & Schult SETLU.