Weed emergence models require biological parameters such as base temperature for germination, determination of which is costly and time-consuming. Transferability of these parameters across different populations may therefore represent one of the main constraints for the development and practical use of emergence models at a large scale. A collaborative project was undertaken to assess the interpopulation variability of base temperature for germination in different European populations of velvetleaf and jimsonweed and evaluate possible applicative consequences in terms of weed control. Seeds were collected in Italy, Portugal, and Spain, and each population was then sown in every country, obtaining nine seed batches named as experimental lots. Base temperature for germination was estimated for each experimental lot to calculate lot-specific accumulation of growing degree days (GDD) under three dissimilar climatic scenarios. Threshold date (TD50) was calculated as the date when GDD accumulation of a given experimental lot surpassed the values corresponding to 50% of cumulative field emergence of seedlings. GDD accumulation and TD50 were then used as indicators to identify differences among experimental lots within each climatic scenario. No significant differences were detected among base temperatures estimated for velvetleaf experimental lots or among their patterns of accumulation of GDD and TD50 values within climatic scenarios. Each value of base temperature determined for a single experimental lot could therefore be adopted to model germination for all the lots regardless of the population of origin or cultivation site. In contrast, the population of origin affected the base temperature for jimsonweed, with significantly higher values for experimental lots of the Portuguese population. From an applicative perspective, differences among patterns of accumulation of GDD and TD50 of several experimental lots within each climatic scenario suggest the need to use population-specific values as base temperature for germination and emergence modeling of jimsonweed.
Nomenclature: Jimsonweed, Datura stramonium L. DATST; velvetleaf, Abutilon theophrasti Medik. ABUTH.