Annals of Applied Biology (2015) 166, 444-455
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Weed species differ in their ability to emerge in no-till systems that include cover crops
Annals of Applied Biology 166 (3), 444-455
Abstract: No-till cropping systems that include cover crops could lead to important changes in weed communities by decreasing some annual weed populations. In this study, we predicted that seed burial depth and the presence of cover crop would affect the emergence and initial growth success of annual weed species. We tested two factors on 14 weed species in a greenhouse: the seed burial depth of weeds (buried versus soil surface) and the presence/absence of a cover crop (ryegrass). We counted the emerged seedlings and measured the height of weeds and cover crops (Hweed, Hcover), the dry matter content of weeds and cover crops (DMCweed, DMCcover) and the number of leaves of weeds (NLweed) on 1433 weed and 390 ryegrass individuals. Emergence of five weed species (AMBEL, ANGAR, BROST, CENCY and EPHHE) was affected by the seed location (-10.3% on average for unburied seeds), five other weed species (ALOMY, CAPBP, SONAS, VERPE and VLPMY) were affected by cover (on average -9.5% for seeds emerged in the presence of cover crop), and four weed species (GERDI, LAMPU, POAAN and VIOAR) were not affected by either. Weed growth of all weed species also decreased with the presence of a cover crop (on average Hweed: -49.9%, DMCweed: -87.2% and NLweed: -55.4%) and for unburied seeds (on average Hweed: -33.7%, DMCweed: -70.6% and NLweed: -43.3%), with various responses according to species. This study indicates that annual weeds could be disadvantaged by no-till systems using cover crops.
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