Comparison of growth, survivorship, seed production and shedding of eight weed species in a wheat crop in Western Australi

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Weed Research


Development of integrated weed management strategies is dependent on a thorough knowledge of the demography of individual species. The current research established eight winter or summer weed species in a winter annual wheat cropping system at Wongan Hills, Western Australia, and investigated emergence of the first cohort of each species, survivorship, plant size, seed production and seed shedding over three years (2016–2019). The winter weeds Bromus diandrus and Lolium rigidum emerged at the same time as the wheat crop, and the initial cohort of marked plants had 100% survival to seed production in each year. By comparison, other winter weed species like Hordeum leporinum, Rumex hypogaeus, Sonchus oleraceus and Polygonum aviculare frequently emerged later than the crop and had a lower percentage of plants surviving to seed production. However, individual S. oleraceus and P. aviculare plants had the greatest seed production compared to other species. All winter weeds had variable patterns of seed shedding between years, with the exception of L. rigidum. Summer weed species emerged at the same time, but plants in the initial cohort of each species did not always survive to produce seed. The early emergence and high survivorship of B. diandrus indicates high competitive ability, but shedding commenced at a similar time to L. rigidum and harvest weed seed control may be a viable control method for this species.