Characterizing the spatial pattern of Abutilon theophrasti seedling patches

J. A. Dieleman, D. A. Mortensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Spatial biology of weed populations is the study of weed patches and their relevant patch-level processes. In this context, a patch was defined as an area in which individuals are aggregated into discrete subdivided populations. Four Abutilon theophrasti seedling patches in two continuous maize production fields were surveyed using a contiguous grid of quadrats between 1995 and 1997. Surveyed area was dependent on patch size and ranged from 96 m2 to 1134 m2. Within each area, all seedlings were counted in each 1 m x 0.75 m quadrat in June, just before post-emergence weed control, and in mid-July after all weed control practices were completed. The spatial pattern observed in the seedling distribution maps was single or multiple focal points of high seedling density that decreased with distance from the focal point. Two-directional correlograms corroborated this visual observation, such that A. theophrasti seedling density in neighbouring quadrats was spatially autocorrelated, and correlation strength decreased with distance separating quadrats. Autocorrelation coefficients decreased at a greater rate across crop rows than parallel to crop rows. Visually, patch shape was elliptical and oriented in the direction of field traffic. Factors affecting patch-level processes of spatial aggregation, stability and edge dynamics were considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-467
Number of pages13
JournalWeed Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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