Roadside habitats: the impact of salinization on the occurrence, growth and reproduction of two weed species Echinochloa crus-galli and Digitaria sanguinalis.
The specific conditions in habitats in the immediate vicinity of roads provide a suitable environment for noxious weeds and invasive species that spread through them to the landscape. Echinochloa crus-galli and Digitaria sanguinalis are problematic weeds of wide-row crops. The field experiment focused on the impact of the roadside habitat salinization on the occurrence, growth and reproduction of these two species. Quantitative vegetative and generative characteristics of the plants were determined. Measurements were carried out at three distances from the edge of the road and on control plots. The results showed that the growth and reproduction of E. crus-galli and D. sanguinalis occur in the period when the values of soil environmental variables correspond to values of non-saline soil according to the criteria for soil salinity assessment. Despite this fact, the average salinity of soil along roadside was still higher than in soil of further distances and we found these levels of salinity to be well tolerated by the study species. Therefore, we conclude that roadsides with the same or higher salt content represent a suitable location for the occurrence and reproduction of E. crus-galli and D. sanguinalis, thus being temporary locations that enable their further spreading to the countryside.