Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Viability, germination, and emergence of cattle-fed jointed goatgrass seed.

Abstract

The viability of jointed goatgrass (Aegilops cylindrica) seed following its passage through the digestive system of cattle was investigated. Wheat contaminated with jointed goatgrass joints was mixed with chopped hay and fed to 4 fistulated steers 3 times with increasing rates of the weed (0.64, 1.28 and 2.56 lb/steer). Examination of rumen and faecal contents collected at 24, 36 and 48 h after feeding revealed that jointed goatgrass seed viability was 75 and 76% in resp. samples. Only 26-28% of recovered seed germinated in Petri dishes within the first 5 d although, when joints were sown in a peat/soil mixture, ≥1 out of 25 seeds germinated within 10 d in 56% of samples. It was concluded from the high seed viability and seedling emergence observed after passage through cattle that livestock fed jointed goatgrass-contaminated wheat may act as a mechanism of seed dispersal for the weed.