Dynamic Seed Emission, Dispersion, and Deposition from Horseweed (Conyza canadensis (L.) Cronquist)

Jun Liu, Qidi Zhao, Haiyan Huang, Rongjian Ye, Charles Neal Stewart, Junming Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The wide dispersion of glyphosate-resistant (GR) horseweed (Conyza canadensis (L.) Cron-quist: synonym Erigeron canadensis L.) biotypes has been reported in agricultural fields in many states. GR traits may be transferred through seeds or pollen from fields with existing GR horseweed prevalence to surrounding fields. Understanding seed production and movement is essential when characterizing and predicting the spread of GR horseweed, yet a literature review indicates that there are no experimental data on dynamic (hourly) seed production and horizontal dispersion and deposition from horseweed. To obtain the dynamic data, two field experiments were per-formed, one in Illinois and one in Tennessee, USA in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Seed concentration and deposition along with atmospheric conditions were measured with samplers in the Illinois (184 m × 46 m, natural plants, density = 9.5 plants/m2 ) and Tennessee (6 m × 6 m, cultivated plants, density = 4 plants/m2 ) experimental fields and their surrounding areas along the downwind direction up to 1 km horizontally and 100 m vertically in the Illinois field and up to 32 m horizontally and 5 m vertically in the Tennessee field. The dynamic seed source strengths (emission rates) measured during two entire seed-shedding seasons were reported, ranging from 0 to 0.41 grains/plant/s for Illinois and ranging from 0 to 0.56 grains/plant/s for Tennessee. The average total seed production was an estimated 122,178 grains/plant for the duration of the Illinois experiment and 94,146 grains/plant for Tennessee. Seeds trapped by Rotorod samplers attached beneath two balloons in the Illinois field experiment were observed at heights of 80 to 100 m, indicating the possibility of long-distance transport. Normalized (by source data) seed deposition with distance followed a negative power exponential function. Seed emission and transport were affected mainly by wind speed. This study is the first to investigate dynamic horseweed seed emission, dispersion, and deposition for an entire seed-shedding season. The results will aid in the management of GR horseweed. The potential for regional effects of horseweed invasion may require all farmers to control horseweed in their individual fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1102
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2022


  • seed release rate
  • concentration
  • deposition
  • seed release pattern
  • seed dispersion pattern

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


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