Demography of Salsola australis populations in the agricultural region of south-west Australia

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Weed Research


Salsola australis is a widespread annual weed of broad-scale cropping and pasture systems throughout Australia, and is of concern in the wheat belt of Western Australia. The population dynamics of S. australis was monitored at four sites in the Lake Grace district of Western Australia. At all sites, two to three cohorts emerged in summer and autumn or winter. While initial seedling density varied, density-dependent mortality ensured that the total number of senesced plants at each site was not significantly different. Estimated seed production ranged from 95 to 19 596 seeds per plant, although seed viability was low (approximately 9% for seeds that were shed and 15% for seeds that were retained on the mature plants). Total annual seed production per unit area was highly variable within sites but was not significantly different between sites. These data will facilitate the development of improved control strategies for S. australis.