Agronomy, Vol. 13, Pages 1432: Quantifying and Disentangling the Competition Effect of a Weed Community in a Long-Term Biennial Cereal-Legume Rotation

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Agronomy, Vol. 13, Pages 1432: Quantifying and Disentangling the Competition Effect of a Weed Community in a Long-Term Biennial Cereal-Legume Rotation

Agronomy doi: 10.3390/agronomy13051432

Authors:
Gonzalez-Andujar
Aguilera
Van Acker

Weeds are a permanent constraint on crop productivity in agriculture. Due to the importance of the effect of weeds on the crop, there has been great interest in establishing the competitive ability of each species to optimize its control. This work presents a new methodology approach to determining the relative competitiveness of weed species based on population dynamics theory, which is applied to establish the competitiveness of Papaver rhoeas L. (PAP), Veronica hederifolia L. (VER), Descurainia sophia L. (DES) and Fumaria spp. (FUM) infesting a biennial cereal-legume rotation under conventional tillage. Data to fit the nonlinear population dynamic models were obtained from a long-term experiment (32 years) in Mediterranean drylands. The results showed asymmetric competitive interactions, and the competitive ability of weeds was crop specific. In cereals, the competitiveness ranking order was FUM > PAP > VER > DES, with strong interspecific competition; in legumes, it was VER > FUM > DES > PAP, with weak interspecific competition intensity. Overall, intraspecific competition was stronger than interspecific competition in the rotation system. The information gained in these studies can provide insights into the role of the intraspecific and interspecific competition in weed communities and help identify weed species that are relatively poor competitors in given crops.

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