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Research article2017Peer reviewed

Effects of selective cutting and herbicide use in spring barley on seed production of Cirsium arvense

Verwijst, Theo; Tavaziva, Varwi Jacob; Lundkvist, Anneli


A field experiment was performed in Sweden to evaluate the effect of herbicide treatment and selective cutting on the seed production of Cirsium arvense. Four treatments (control (C), selective cutting (S), early (H1) and late (H2) herbicide application) were laid out in a randomized block experiment. The field was sown with spring barley and contained a natural population of the weed. Treatments were first applied 2015 and repeated 2016. Changes in the number of seeds per flower receptacle and average seed weight were measured over time in 2016 from the onset of seed production until crop harvest. At harvest, number of shoots per area and cumulative numbers of flower receptacles, which had shed mature seeds over the season, were counted. These data were used to assess total seed production over the season. Treatment H2 led to a significantly decreased number of seeds per receptacle (49) compared to S (59), H1 (64) and C (67). Over time and treatment, number of seeds per flower receptacle was lowest in the second week (47) and increased over the third week to 69 in week four. Average weight per seed was about constant over time (0.91mg) while H1 and S (0.63 and 0.78mg, respectively) had lower seed weights compared to H2 and C (1.04 and 1.19mg, respectively). Total seed production over the season in terms of number of seeds per square meter was greatly reduced by all treatments (5-20 seeds m(-2), or 3-14mgm(-2)) compared to the control (6600 seeds m(-2), or 7800mgm(-2)). We conclude that seed production of C. arvense is inhibited a thousand-fold and equally well by selective cutting as by early or late herbicide treatments.


Canada thistle; integrated weed management; pollination; sexual reproduction; weed control

Published in

Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B - Soil and Plant Science
2017, Volume: 67, number: 6, pages: 562-570