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Open AccessArticle

Seed Viability of Heracleum mantegazzianum (Apiaceae) Is Quickly Reduced at Temperatures Prevailing in Biogas Plants

1
Group Crop Health, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Rostock, Satower Straße 48, 18051 Rostock, Germany
2
Group Grassland and Forage Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Rostock, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 6, 18059 Rostock, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2019, 9(6), 332; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9060332
Received: 29 May 2019 / Revised: 17 June 2019 / Accepted: 19 June 2019 / Published: 21 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Weed Management & New Approaches)
Heracleum mantegazzianum is an invasive plant species with enormous effect on ecosystems and human health. Mechanical weed management often results in large amounts of biomass. Fermentation in biogas plants can be used for disposal of this biomass contaminated with seeds and for energetic utilization, if spreading of viable seeds with fermentation residues is prevented. Our aim is to quantify the risk of seed survival in mesophilic biogas plants. Seeds were harvested at three ripening stages in central Germany. They were incubated for 0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, and 8 days at 35 and 42 °C in water baths. Thereafter, seed viability was assessed by a tetrazolium test. Furthermore, germinative capacity of seeds which had passed an incubation of 48 h at 35 °C were tested. After eight days in water bath none of the 1199 tested seeds were viable anymore. The time until half of the seeds died (ED50) ranged from 9 to 65 h, whereby high temperature accelerated the mortality. Germinative capacity was similar to the seed survival rate. The results suggest that fermentation of H. mantegazzianum biomass poses only a low risk of viable seed spread, if the operating temperature of the biogas plant achieves 42 °C and a high retention time is ensured. View Full-Text
Keywords: giant hogweed; biogas reactor; biomass disposal; germinative capacity; invasive plant management; water bath giant hogweed; biogas reactor; biomass disposal; germinative capacity; invasive plant management; water bath
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tanke, A.; Müller, J.; de Mol, F. Seed Viability of Heracleum mantegazzianum (Apiaceae) Is Quickly Reduced at Temperatures Prevailing in Biogas Plants. Agronomy 2019, 9, 332.

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