Weed seed bank response to tillage and residue management in semi-arid Zimbabwe

Mandumbu, R and Twomlow, S J and Jowah, P and Mashingaidze, N and Hove, L and Kara, C (2012) Weed seed bank response to tillage and residue management in semi-arid Zimbabwe. Archives of Phytopathology and Plant Protection, 45 (18). pp. 2165-2176. ISSN 0323-5408

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The influence of conservation agriculture (CA) on weed ecology has been a concern to many researchers across the world and is the focus of this study in southern Africa. An experiment to look at the impacts of various tillage systems with different levels of crop residue on maize (Zea mays L.) was established in 2004/2005 season. The experiment was carried out at the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Matopos Research Station, Zimbabwe. Three main tillage systems were compared, ripping tillage (RT), planting basins (PB) and conventional tillage (CT), with three different crop residue levels: 0, 4 and 8 tons ha−1. In 2007 soil samples were collected in the inter-row and in-row positions prior to tillage at 0–50 mm, 50–100 mm and 100–200 mm depths. The objective was to determine the effect of the treatment factors on weed seed bank species after three cropping cycles using the germination method. Nine major weed species were identified, with all the weeds unaffected by either tillage or mulching level. Eleusine indica, Corchorus tridens and Setaria species were the dominant weed species across all treatments. Setaria spp. was the dominant weed in the inter-row position of ripped plots. Although there was no significant individual treatment effect, there were significant (p < 0.05) interactions, with CT having reduced seed banks of Setaria spp. and E. indica compared to RT and PB. Percentage increases point to E. indica and Setaria spp. increasing under PB and RT compared to CT. C. tridens was significantly higher in PB compared to RT and CT in the 0–50 mm depth in the in-row position. This study probably coincided with the transition period in the weed bank succession process and needs to be repeated at a later date in the rotation. The majority of the weed species were not affected by any of the treatment combinations, a response attributed to plasticity of weeds to the tillage and residue level selection pressure

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Weed seed bank, mulch, tillage
Subjects: Others > Fertilizer Applications
Depositing User: Ms K Syamalamba
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2013 05:10
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2013 09:17
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/6930
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03235408.2012.722842
Projects: Protracted Relief Program
Funders: Department for International Development (DFID)
Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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