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Phenotypic Plasticity of Spiny Amaranth (Amaranthus spinosus) and Longfruited Primrose-Willow (Ludwigia octovalvis) in Response to Rice Interference

  • Bhagirath Singh Chauhan (a1) and Seth Bernard Abugho (a1)

The growth of spiny amaranth and longfruited primrose-willow was studied by growing them alone and in competition with 4 and 12 rice (cv. RC222) plants. Interference with 12 rice plants reduced the height of spiny amaranth beyond 6 wk after planting. The height of longfruited primrose-willow was significantly reduced by the crop interference starting from 4 wk after planting. Both weed species showed the ability to reduce the effects of rice interference by increasing leaf area, leaf and stem biomass in the upper half of the plant, and specific stem length. At 9 wk after planting, for example, longfruited primrose-willow had 89 and 99% leaf biomass in the upper half of the plant when grown with 4 and 12 rice plants compared with only 34% when grown alone. These values for spiny amaranth were 15, 29, and 72% when grown alone, with 4 rice plants, and 12 rice plants, respectively. Despite such plasticity, spiny amaranth's aboveground biomass at final harvest was reduced by 34 and 70% when grown with 4 and 12 rice plants, respectively, compared with its biomass without crop interference. The corresponding values for longfruited primrose-willow were 92 and 98%, respectively. These results suggest that uniform and high crop density could be an important tool to reduce competition from these weeds in direct-seeded rice.

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