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Common Cocklebur Competition in Forage Maize

  • Zahid Hussain (a1), Khan Bahadar Marwat (a1) and John Cardina (a2)

Common cocklebur is a new weed in irrigated maize grown for forage in the hot, dry region of northwest Pakistan. We conducted experiments in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Peshawar, Pakistan, during 2006 and 2007 to evaluate the interaction of common cocklebur density and maize density on biomass, leaf area index (LAI), and plant height of forage maize. Seven common cocklebur densities (0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 plants m−2) in maize planted at four densities (5, 7.5, 10, and 12.5 plants m−2) were evaluated. An ANOVA for both years revealed significant main effects and interactions for all variables. Regression of measured variables against common cocklebur density showed that maize biomass declined linearly as common cocklebur density increased from 0 to 12 plants m−2, with an increasing rate of decline for high maize densities and low maize densities. Combined data for all maize densities revealed that the relationship between maize biomass and common cocklebur biomass fit a linear function, with 1.28 to 1.35 kg ha−1 loss in maize biomass for each kilogram per hectare increase in common cocklebur biomass from about 1,500 to 3,200 kg ha−1. Above 8 to 10 common cocklebur plants m−2, weed biomass declined, presumably due to intraspecific competition. An increase in common cocklebur density decreased maize LAI about 0.15 to 0.3 units for each additional common cocklebur plant per square meter in 2006, and 0.11 to 0.24 units in 2007. Common cocklebur LAI increased in a linear fashion as density of the weed increased. Results suggest that the effect of common cocklebur interference on maize biomass was associated with a change in allocation of resources, resulting in increased crop height growth at the expense of a reduction in LAI and presumably potential light interception by the crop as common cocklebur density increased.

Xanthium strumarium es una nueva maleza en el maíz de riego cultivado para forraje en la región calurosa y seca del noroeste de Pakistán. Llevamos al cabo experimentos en la Provincia de Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Peshawar, Pakistán, durante 2006 y 2007 para evaluar la interacción de la densidad de Xanthium strumarium y de maíz con la biomasa, el índice del área foliar y la altura de la planta del maíz forrajero. Se evaluaron siete densidades de Xanthium strumarium (0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 y 12 plantas m−2), en maíz sembrado a cuatro densidades (5, 7.5, 10 y 12.5 plantas m−2). Un ANDEVA para ambos años reveló efectos importantes e interacciones significativas para todas las variables. La regresión de las variables medidas de la densidad de Xanthium strumarium contra la biomasa del maíz mostró que disminuyó linealmente conforme la densidad de la maleza incrementó de 0 a 12 plantas m−2, con una tasa creciente de disminución para altas y bajas densidades de maíz. Los datos combinados para todas las densidades de maíz, revelaron que la relación entre la biomasa del maíz y la biomasa de Xanthium strumarium se ajusta a una función lineal, con una pérdida de 1.28 a 1.35 kg ha−1 en la biomasa de maíz, por cada kg ha−1 en que se incrementó la biomasa de Xanthium strumarium, de aproximadamente 1500 a 3200 kg ha−1. Cuando había más de 8 a 10 plantas de Xanthium por m−2, la biomasa de la maleza disminuyó, presumiblemente debido a la competencia intra-específica. Un incremento en la densidad de Xanthium strumarium, disminuyó el índice del área foliar del maíz en aproximadamente 0.15 a 0.3 unidades por cada planta adicional de Xanthium strumarium por m−2 en 2006, y de 0.11 a 0.24 unidades en 2007. El índice del área foliar de Xanthium strumarium incrementó de manera lineal conforme aumentó la densidad de la maleza. Los resultados sugieren que el efecto de la interferencia de Xanthium strumarium en la biomasa del maíz, estaba asociado con un cambio en la asignación de los recursos del cultivo, originando con esto un incremento en la altura del cultivo a expensas de una reducción del índice del área foliar y presumiblemente ocurrió una intercepción potencial de la luz del cultivo conforme se incrementó la densidad de la maleza.

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Weed Technology
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