Dry Bean Morpho-Physiological Responses to Gradual Weed Biomass Accumulation
Field study was carried out in 2011 in west of Iran to assess responses of dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) morpho-physiological traits to gradual weed biomass accumulation. The treatments consisted of two different periods of weed interference, which weeds either infested the plots or removed for an increasing duration of time (0, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 days) after crop emergence. Relative dominance and relative importance of weed species fluctuated over the crop cycle. As the duration of weed interference was increased, a declining trend of crop growth rate (CGR) was observed. When weeds were allowed to compete with crop throughout the crop cycle, maximum value of CGR was decreased from 25.57 g m-2 days in full season weed free treatment to 16.78 g m-2 days in full season weed infested treatment. Effect of treatments on leaf area index (LAI) was significant. Weed removal increased LAI but it could not significantly affect this trait, at the early of growing season. Weed interference caused a significant reduction on number of branches. The minimum number of branches was registered in full season weed infested treatment (2.58 branches per plant), while the maximum one was observed in the full season weed free treatment (4.25 branches per plant). Weed competition severely reduced crop yield. At 10 and 20 days after crop emergence, weed infestation could not significantly affect the yield. A negative relationship between weeds’ dry matter accumulation and LAI as well as number of branches was observed which signify the vulnerability of these morpho-physiological traits to weed competition.
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