Several studies were conducted to evaluate the effects of different tillage systems on the vertical seed distribution, seedling recruitment pattern, and persistence of the rigid ryegrass seed bank. Experiments were conducted in South Australia at two locations (Roseworthy Campus and Minlaton, a site on the Yorke Peninsula) in 2003 and 2005. The distribution of surface seeds through the soil profile was associated with the level of soil disturbance. The low–soil-disturbance tillage systems left more seed on the soil surface, whereas the high–soil-disturbance systems buried most of the seeds. The seedling recruitment of rigid ryegrass was lower under the low–soil-disturbance tillage systems than under the high–soil-disturbance tillage systems at both locations. The seedling recruitment was two- to fourfold greater under minimum tillage than under no-till. Not only was the seedling recruitment lower under the low–soil-disturbance tillage systems, biomass accumulation by rigid ryegrass seedlings was also lower under these systems. The carryover of residual viable seeds from one season to the next was similar between the tillage systems. However, seed decay under no-till (48 to 60%) was much greater than under minimum tillage (12 to 39%).
Nomenclature: Rigid ryegrass, Lolium rigidum Gaudin, LOLRI.