The competitive ability of different chickpea (Cicer arietinum) genotypes against Polygonum aviculare under field conditions

Radicetti, E. and Mancinelli, R. and Campiglia, E. (2012) The competitive ability of different chickpea (Cicer arietinum) genotypes against Polygonum aviculare under field conditions. Crop Protection, 42. pp. 312-319.

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Polygonum aviculare L. is a troublesome weed in chickpea cultivated in the Mediterranean environment of Central Italy. A 2-year field study was carried out to evaluate the competitive ability and the yield response of different chickpea genotypes against P. aviculare. Experimental treatments consisted in six chickpea genotypes (Alto Lazio, C1017, C133, C134, C6150 stable lines and cultivar Sultano) cultivated in weed-free conditions and with P. aviculare at four densities (4, 8, 16, 32 plants m−2). The competitive ability of chickpea against P. aviculare was assessed on the basis of (i) the relative biomass total (RBT); (ii) the competitive balance index (Cb), and (iii) the competitive index (CI). The chickpea seed yield in weed-free conditions ranged from 2.6 to 2.1 t ha−1 of DM and was higher in C6150 and Sultano. P. aviculare caused an average chickpea seed yield loss of 14, 46, 74 and 88% at the density of 4, 8, 16, 32 plants m−2 compared to the weed-free crop. The relationship between the P. aviculare density and the percentage of chickpea yield loss was described by the rectangular hyperbola model with the asymptote constrained to 100% maximum yield loss. The estimated coefficient I (yield loss per unit density as density approaches zero) was lower in C133, Sultano, and C1017. RBT was higher than 1 in all chickpea genotypes at 4 plants m−2 of P. aviculare, while at higher P. aviculare densities it was similar to 1 suggesting that there is no resource use complementarity between chickpea and the weed. Generally, at the density of 50 plants m−2 the chickpea crop was more competitive than P. aviculare at 4 plants m−2 (Cb > 0), equally competitive at 8 plants m−2 (Cb = 0), and less competitive at 16 and 32 plants m−2 (Cb < 0). No chickpea genotype achieved the objective of combining a high seed yield potential and a great competitive ability against P. aviculare. C6150 and Sultano had a high seed yield production in weed-free conditions, but they were poorly competitive against P. aviculare at intermediate and high weed infestation, while C1017 showed a satisfactory level of Cb and CI at all P. aviculare densities although its seed yield was the lowest in weed-free conditions. However, the results suggest that, from an agronomical point of view, P. aviculare plant density should be less than 4 plant m−2 in order to prevent severe chickpea seed yield loss in field conditions.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The Authors wish to thank the anonymous reviewers and the editor for their constructive comments on the manuscript, Claudio Stefanoni and Fulvia Gatti for their valuable assistance concerning land, labour and equipment and Paola Crinò for providing the stable lines of chickpea genotypes. This research was funded by the University of Tuscia and it is part of Emanuele Radicetti's Ph.D. thesis entitled “Ecological Weed Management”.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Competition indices; Competitive ability; Cultural weed control; Weed density
Author Affiliation: Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie per l'Agricoltura, le Foreste, la Natura e l'Energia, Università della Tuscia, via S. Camillo de Lellis, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Subjects: Crop Improvement
Divisions: Chickpea
Depositing User: Mr. SanatKumar Behera
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2012 07:24
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2012 07:24
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