Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) P. Beauv. is one of the most important weeds. It is distributed worldwide and has adapted to diverse habitats and climatic conditions. This study aimed to compare the emergence patterns of two populations of E. crus-galli from different environments at 11 locations across Europe and the Middle East. Seeds of the two populations were collected from maize in Italy and from spring barley in Norway and were then buried in soil in autumn 2015. In the spring of 2016, the soil was disturbed around the usual seedbed preparation date in each location and emergence was recorded. The soil was again disturbed a year later and emergence was recorded for a second season. Total emergence, the times of onset, end and to 50% emergence and the period between 25% and 75% of emergence were analysed by two-way ANOVA and principal components analysis. The Italian population showed a higher emergence than the Norwegian population in Southern locations, while the ranking was reversed in Northern locations. In almost all locations, a tendency to emerge earlier was recorded for the Norwegian population, but the periods from 25% to 75% emergence were similar for both populations. Total emergence, and the times of onset and end of emergence seemed to be mainly under genotypic (plus maternal) control, suggesting there were different temperature thresholds for seedling emergence in each population. Conversely, the duration of emergence seemed to be mainly under environmental control. This research confirms the high variability between populations and suggests the need to continue identifying key characteristics for the development of efficient models for seedling emergence in specific climates and/or latitudes.
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