Seeds over-wintering characteristics of Italian Cocklebur and Stab Cocklebur: two invasive plants in Xinjiang, China.
In recent years, Italian cocklebur (Xanthium italicum Moretti) and stab cocklebur (X. spinosum Linnaeus) has become rapidly expanded invasive plants in Xinjiang, China. Some of their mature fruits set down on the dry ground, some might fall into the water, and the other might remain on the branches of the mother plant until next spring. The habitats that seeds are exposed to in the winter will affect the seed germination in the following year. To assess their invasiveness, predict their potential distribution area, and provide scientific guidance for effective prevention and control of the invaders, four kinds of natural winter habitats that the seeds might be exposed to in Xinjiang were simulated in our study. In conclusion, seeds of X. italicum has a better over-winter performance than that of X. spinosum. We suggested that province-wide monitor of the X. italicum in Xinjiang should be carried out. However, X. spinosum should be mainly monitored in moderate and arid habitats at lower latitude and altitude regions.