Seed longevity and germination of the emerging invasive species wavyleaf basketgrass (Oplismenus undulatifolius) under varied light regimes




Invasive nonindigenous species pose a serious threat to native biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Understanding how species’ performance varies under conditions in the current and invaded range can help to predict the dynamics of the invading species in its new environment. Plants with the ability to alter growth in response to variation in light conditions may be favored in landscapes that experience frequent disturbance, as these species may be able to exploit a wide range of niches. Seedbank persistence may also play a critical role in successful plant invasion, as extended seed viability may increase the chance of outlasting unfavorable conditions, maintain population genetic diversity, and allow reinvasions. This study investigated seed longevity and the effect of light intensity on germination of wavyleaf basketgrass [Oplismenus undulatifolius (Ard.) Roem. & Schult.], a newly established invasive species in U.S. mid-Atlantic forest understories. Oplismenus undulatifolius seeds were collected across 5 yr from the original site of introduction in Maryland, USA, and stored in standard lab conditions, then subjected to germination trials under four light conditions in a controlled growth chamber. Seeds remained viable for at least 9 yr, and light intensity did not significantly impact seed germination. Our study demonstrates the importance of evaluating environmental and temporal effects on germination traits, because the scope of surveillance in the field may need to be expanded based on new information about environmental tolerance. Long-term monitoring may also be necessary to effectively control invasive plant populations capable of forming a persistent seedbank.

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© The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Weed Science Society of America

Creative Common License - CCCreative Common License - BY This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution and reproduction, provided the original article is properly cited.