Thyme in Central Otago : a summary of studies by biology students at Dunstan High School, Alexandra
Thymus vulgarais L. (Labiatae) is a plant which has become an increasingly prominent member of the adventive flora of Central Otago since its introduction into the area last century. Its distribution is confined to the valleys of the Clutha, Kawarau and Mauherikia Rivers. Seed dispersal methods were investigated, with the role of animals, wind and mechanical methods being considered. From the studies so far, it would seem that the latter two are the most important methods of dispersal open to the plant. Germination studies revealed that acidity, cold treatment of seed prior to planting, and the exposure of seed to light on sowing, enhanced the germination rate. The effects of thyme oil on germination was also tested. Thyme appears to prefer a well-drained soil, and a relatively sheltered, well-lit, warm situation. The success of the plant in arid areas may be attributable to the reduction in competition from grasses and other herbs. Thyme can be controlled either mechanically or chemically; its future in Central Otago, though, may lie in its use as a source of honey, its harvest as a culinary herb, and its value as an object of study.... [Show full abstract]
KeywordsThymus vulgarais L.; Central Otago; seed dispersal; seed germination; cold treatment; weed control; culinary herbs; thyme oil; soil chemistry; chemical polymorphism; soil pH; thyme
Fields of Research050103 Invasive Species Ecology; 050205 Environmental Management; 050304 Soil Chemistry (excl. Carbon Sequestration Science); 070308 Crop and Pasture Protection (Pests, Diseases and Weeds); 060705 Plant Physiology; 060207 Population Ecology
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