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Shade reduces growth and seed production of Echinochloa colona, Echinochloa crus-galli, and Echinochloa glabrescens

Chauhan, Bhagirath Singh
Crop protection 2013 v.43 pp. 241-245
Echinochloa colona, Echinochloa crus-galli, biomass, herbicides, leaves, rice, shoots, solar radiation, sowing, weed control, weeds, Asia
Echinochloa species are problematic weed species in direct-seeded rice systems in Asia. Because of concern about the continuous use of single herbicides, cultural weed management strategies need to be developed to maintain the sustainability of direct-seeded rice systems. However, the design of such strategies requires an understanding of the differential responses of weeds to shade caused by crop interference. The effects of shade on growth and seed production of Echinochloa colona, Echinochloa crus-galli, and Echinochloa glabrescens were determined. Weeds of three Echinochloa species were grown continuously in full sunlight or in 50% or 25% of full sunlight, or started in full sunlight and transferred to 50% or 25% of full sunlight at 21 days after sowing. The results suggested that changes in shade regime did not affect the plant height of E. colona and E. glabrescens; however, shade reduced the height of E. crus-galli. Compared with the plants grown in full sunlight, 75% of continuous shade reduced E. crus-galli height by 22%. Shade reduced leaf, total shoot, and root biomass and seed production in all the weed species, if occurred during the early growth of the weeds. The weeds responded with increased leaf biomass ratio when grown in shade. Compared with full sunlight, continuous shade of 75% increased leaf biomass ratio by 90% in E. colona and this value was 25% in the other two species. The results of this study show that shade can reduce weed growth and seed production of Echinochloa species but it should not be considered as a stand-alone strategy to manage these weeds in rice. This highlights the need for the integration of other weed management strategies to achieve complete control of these species.