Interactions between initial weed seedling density and postemergence herbicide and mechanical weed control were studied in two field experiments conducted between 1994 and 1996. Increasing seedbank densities of velvetleaf (0 to 500 seed m-2) in soybean or common sunflower (250 to 2,500 seed 1.3 m-2) in corn or soybean were established at Lincoln and Mead, NE, respectively. Emerged seedlings were treated with increasing intensities of weed control from none to bentazon alone or with interrow cultivation. A positive linear relationship between initial seedling density and density of surviving seedlings was consistently observed. As initial seedling density increased, more survivors were present after treatment. As intensity of weed control increased, the number of seedling survivors decreased. Resulting reproductive fitness decreased with increasing management intensity but remained positive when regressed against surviving seedling densities. Weed management outcomes were dependent on initial seedling density, such that the absolute number of survivors increased, while proportion of survivors appeared constant within the density ranges studied. These research findings emphasize the need to account for weed infestation level when assessing efficacy of weed management systems and provide evidence that patchy weed distributions may persist in part because of the need for considerably higher management intensities in high density patch centers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Plant Science