Understanding the factors regulating recruitment in diverse tillage systems will improve the efficacy of weed-management strategies. Experiments measured the effect of hairy nightshade winter seed position (burial depth) on seedling recruitment and seed germination, dormancy, and mortality. Hairy nightshade seeds were placed in soil tubes at 1 cm below the soil line and buried in the fall so that seeds were positioned in the soil at 1, 6, 13, and 25 cm below the soil surface. Tubes with undisturbed soil and seeds were removed from the field in March, April, and May of 2004 and 2005 and placed in wells in a heated, aluminum block with a linear temperature gradient from 22.7 to 36.0 C at 2.7 C intervals, and recruitment was measured. Seeds were also recovered from the soil tubes to determine effects of seed position on germination rate, mortality, and seed dormancy. Hairy nightshade seedling recruitment was greater for seeds positioned at 6, 13, and 25 cm during the winter than at 1 cm. Seed dormancy and mortality were greatest for seeds positioned at 1 cm, but that did not adequately account for the significant decrease in recruitment at 1 cm compared to seeds buried at 6, 13, or 25 cm. Protecting the seeds buried at 1 cm from rainfall during the winter increased seedling recruitment from 0 to 20% of buried seeds but had a negligible effect on seed mortality and dormancy. Soil density was negatively correlated with recruitment.
Nomenclature: Hairy nightshade, Solanum sarrachoides Sendtner SOLSA.