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Combining competition from Lolium perenne and an insect-fungus combination to control Rumex obtusifolius seedlings

Keary, I. P. and Hatcher, P. E. (2004) Combining competition from Lolium perenne and an insect-fungus combination to control Rumex obtusifolius seedlings. Weed Research, 44 (1). pp. 33-41. ISSN 0043-1737

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-3180.2003.00370.x


Although adult Rumex obtusifolius are problematic weeds, their seedlings are poor competitors against Lolium perenne, particularly in established swards. We investigated the possibility of using this weakness to augment control of R. obtusifolius seedlings with combinations of Gastrophysa viridula (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and the rust fungus Uromyces rumicis. Rumex obtusifolius seedlings were grown in competition with L. perenne sown at different rates and times after R. obtusifolius: they competed successfully with L. perenne when sown 21 days before the grass. Sowing both species at the same time resulted in a dominant grass sward, with R. obtusifolius becoming dominant when sown 42 days prior to L. perenne. Grass sowing rate had no effect on R. obtusifolius growth or biomass. A second experiment investigated how competition from L. perenne sown 21 days after R. obtusifolius combined with damage from G. viridula and/or U. rumicis (applied at either the 3-4- or 10-13-leaf stage, or at both stages) affected the growth and final biomass of R. obtusifolius. Beetle grazing at the latter leaf stage was the only treatment that reduced R. obtusifolius biomass, although rust infection at the earlier application led to an increase in shoot and root weight. The results are discussed in terms of the potential for use of these agents in the field.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences
ID Code:10544
Uncontrolled Keywords:biocontrol, insect herbivory, interspecific competition, rust fungi, tripartite interactions, weeds , RUMICIS SCHUM WINT, RUST FUNGUS, GASTROPHYSA-VIRIDULA, UROMYCES-RUMICIS, CHRYSOMELID BEETLE, CRISPUS L, PLANT COMPETITION, CREEPING THISTLE, GROWTH, HERBIVORES

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