Spatial and temporal dynamics of Sorghum halepense patches in maize crops

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2012
Journal:Weed Research
Date Published:2012
ISBN Number:1365-3180
Keywords:Dispersal, perennial weeds, site-specific weed management, spread, tillage, weed patch dynamics

Andújar D, Barroso J, Fernández-Quintanilla C & Dorado J (2012). Spatial and temporal dynamics of Sorghum halepense patches in maize crops. Weed Research52, 411–420. Summary Patches of Sorghum halepense of various sizes and densities were artificially created in a maize field. Spatial and temporal patch expansion was monitored during 4 years. The results show that the patches expanded in the same direction of field traffic, with little or no displacement in all the other directions. Apparently, tillage was the main mechanism for dispersal of S. halepense rhizomes, with seeds playing a minor role in dispersal. The spatial growth pattern was characterised by a compact spread of the original patch and by the appearance of small patches at various distances from the primary source, which tended to merge with each other and with the original source. This type of pattern indicates an ‘infiltration’ invasion strategy. The initial patch size significantly influenced their growth rate; small patches grew proportionately faster than larger patches. The initial plant density had a significant influence on the temporal dynamics; low density patches increased up to 130 shoots m−2, the same upper level reached by high density patches. Sorghum halepense seems to be an excellent target for site-specific weed management (SSWM), with compact patches expanding slowly and in a highly predictable way. However, new foci detached from the original source can expand quickly and could invade the whole field in a relatively short time. Early detection and management of small patches should contribute to improve SSWM practices.

Short Title:Weed Research
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