Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti medik.) productivity in competitive conditions
Keywords:velvetleaf, density, vegetative parameters, fecundity
Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti Medik.) is an invasive alien species in many countries and one of the major weeds in summer row crops worldwide. Weed-management techniques that reduce weed production need to be investigated to provide new approaches. The first step in this process is the determination of weed productivity in different competitive conditions. Field experiments were conducted in 2006 and 2008 in an experimental field in Padinska Skela to quantify growth and seed production of velvetleaf in maize, as well as in a velvetleaf monoculture. A density of velvetleaf ranging from 1 to 8 plants m-1 was artificially created. In a mixture with maize, velvetleaf was sown in crop rows. The growth of velvetleaf was estimated based on plant height, fresh aboveground biomass and leaf area index (LAI). Velvetleaf fecundity was determined as seed mass plant-1 and seed mass m-2. Differences between years in plant production were very prominent. In general, velvetleaf productivity in maize depended on its density. Intraspecific competition had a major influence on growth and seed production when velvetleaf density was from 4 to 8 plants m-1 in maize rows. This information indicates that environmental conditions and weed density can promote/reduce inter- and intraspecific competition and help in the construction of population dynamics models to predict population density, seed bank and competitiveness of weeds and reduce inputs for weed management.
Received: February 12, 2016; Revised: April 11, 2016; Accepted: April 19, 2016; Published online: October 4, 2016
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