Bioassays using binary mixtures that included a cover crop with known allelopathic potential and a weed species were employed to determine the importance of allelopathy compared to resource competition as interference mechanisms. Responses of weed species germinated with cover crops in a petri dish were measured. Interference between weed and cover crop seedlings was determined in a greenhouse experiment using the additive design, which included partitions to reduce above- and below-ground competition and used capillary mat subirrigation to control moisture and fertilizer availability. Germinating sorghum reduced radicle length of weeds, whereas germinating rye tended to increase weed radicle length. Methods limited above-ground competition, so likely interference mechanisms were below-ground competition and allelopathy. Germination with a cover crop had little effect on germination and shoot length of weeds. Increased density of rye but not of sorghum reduced growth of barnyardgrass seedlings. Reduced number of barnyardgrass leaves in the presence of rye was likely due to allelopathy. Suppression of barnyardgrass dry weight attributed to allelopathic interference by rye was successfully separated and compared to the combined effects of competition and allelopathy.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 01 Jul 1996|