Vertical distribution, size and composition of the weed seedbank under various tillage and herbicide treatments in a sequence of industrial crops
Vasileiadis, V. P., Froud-Williams, R. J. and Eleftherohorinos, I. G. (2007) Vertical distribution, size and composition of the weed seedbank under various tillage and herbicide treatments in a sequence of industrial crops. Weed Research, 47 (3). pp. 222-230. ISSN 0043-1737
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3180.2007.00564.x
Investigations were conducted during the 2003, 2004 and 2005 growing seasons in northern Greece to evaluate effects of tillage regime (mouldboard plough, chisel plough and rotary tiller), cropping sequence (continuous cotton, cotton-sugar beet rotation and continuous tobacco) and herbicide treatment on weed seedbank dynamics. Amaranthus spp. and Portulaca oleracea were the most abundant species, ranging from 76% to 89% of total weed seeds found in 0-15 and 15-30 cm soil depths during the 3 years. With the mouldboard plough, 48% and 52% of the weed seedbank was found in the 0-15 and 15-30 cm soil horizons, while approximately 60% was concentrated in the upper 15 cm soil horizon for chisel plough and rotary tillage. Mouldboard ploughing significantly buried more Echinochloa crus-galli seeds in the 15-30 cm soil horizon compared with the other tillage regimes. Total seedbank (0-30 cm) of P. oleracea was significantly reduced in cotton-sugar beet rotation compared with cotton and tobacco monocultures, while the opposite occurred for E. crus-galli. Total seed densities of most annual broad-leaved weed species (Amaranthus spp., P. oleracea, Solanum nigrum) and E. crus-galli were lower in herbicide treated than in untreated plots. The results suggest that in light textured soils, conventional tillage with herbicide use gradually reduces seed density of small seeded weed species in the top 15 cm over several years. In contrast, crop rotation with the early established sugar beet favours spring-germinating grass weed species, but also prevents establishment of summer-germinating weed species by the early developing crop canopy.