Experiments were conducted to determine the effects of temperature on seed germination and growth of redroot pigweed, Palmer amaranth, and common waterhemp. At 15/10 C day and night temperature, respectively, no seed germination was observed in any species. Seed germination increased gradually as temperature increased. Germination peaked at 25/20 C in common waterhemp and at 35/30 C in redroot pigweed and Palmer amaranth. Seed germination of all three species declined when temperatures increased above 35/30 C. All three species produced less biomass at 15/10 C than at 25/20 C and 35/25 C. Redroot pigweed and common waterhemp biomass were similar at 15/10 C and higher than that of Palmer amaranth. However, Palmer amaranth produced more biomass than redroot pigweed and common waterhemp at 25/20 and 35/30 C. At 45/40 C, redroot pigweed, common waterhemp, and Palmer amaranth plants died 8, 9, and 25 d after initiation of heat treatment, respectively. The largest root volume among the three species was in Palmer amaranth grown at 35/30 C, whereas the smallest root volume was produced by Palmer amaranth grown at 15/10 C. Potential quantum efficiency (Fv/Fmax) of Palmer amaranth was higher than that of redroot pigweed and common waterhemp at higher temperature. The greater growth of Palmer amaranth at higher temperatures may be attributed in part to its extensive root growth and greater thermostability of its photosynthetic apparatus.
Nomenclature: Common waterhemp, Amaranthus rudis Sauer AMATA; Palmer amaranth, A. palmeri S. Wats. AMAPA; redroot pigweed, A. retroflexus L. AMARE.