Tillage effects on seed distribution and common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) establishment

Joseph P. Yenish, Thomas A. Fry, Beverly R. Durgan, Donald L. Wyse

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37 Scopus citations


Soil profile distribution of a single simulated seed dispersal event after tillage followed a nonlinear model. Approximately 40% of recovered simulated seed were found within 4 cm of the surface following chisel plowing and disking, and density declined steadily with depth to 20 cm. Moldboard plowing placed 50 to 60% of simulated seed to a depth of 11 to 16 cm. Simulated seed were evenly distributed to 8 cm depth by disking and did not differ regardless of whether plots were chisel or moldboard plowed prior to seed dispersal. More than 90% of seed remained within 2 cm of the surface with no-tillage. Simulated seed distribution was the same after a tillage rotation of chisel plowing, disking, moldboard plowing, and disking regardless if the dispersal event occurred prior to chisel or moldboard plowing. Two years of the tillage rotation and two dispersal events resulted in a distribution pattern greatly influenced by the most recent major tillage of chisel or moldboard plowing. Seedling emergence of common milkweed averaged 80% for seed buried 0.5 to 4 cm deep and emergence was negligible for seed on the surface or buried 7 cm in soil in pots in a growth chamber.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)815-820
Number of pages6
JournalWeed Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996


  • Conservation tillage
  • perennial weeds
  • seedling emergence


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