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Effect of varied soil moisture regimes on the growth and reproduction of two Australian biotypes of junglerice (Echinochloa colona)

  • Gulshan Mahajan (a1), Navneet Kaur Mutti (a2), Michael Walsh (a3) and Bhagirath S. Chauhan (a4)

Abstract

Junglerice [Echinochloa colona (L.) Link] is a problematic weed in the northern grain region of Australia. Two pot experiments (Experiment 1 and Experiment 2) were conducted in a screen house to evaluate the growth and reproductive behavior of two biotypes (A, collected from a cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.)–fallow; B, collected from a fence near a water channel) of E. colona in response to water stress (100%, 75%, 50%, and 25% water holding capacity [WHC]). Averaged across both biotypes, the plant height, biomass, and seed production of E. colona were reduced at 25% WHC compared with 100% WHC. However, E. colona still produced a considerable amount of seeds at 25% WHC (at least 365 seeds plant−1). Biotype A produced more seeds in the second experiment, while biotype B produced more seeds in the first experiment. In Experiment 2, at 100% WHC, biotype A produced more seeds (17,618 seeds plant−1) than biotype B (4,378 seeds plant−1), and similar observations were noticed for root biomass. Growth and seed production of E. colona at all moisture levels and environmental conditions ensure survival in an unpredictable environment and contribute to the weedy nature of this species. Results indicate that biotype A is more invasive than biotype B under favorable environmental conditions (100% WHC). This study suggests an enhanced competitive ability of some biotypes of E. colona in response to a range of environmental and soil moisture conditions in Australia. Under favorable environmental conditions, biotype A could be more problematic, as it has higher seed production than biotype B. Therefore, it is important to implement sustainable weed control methods for such biotypes in the early stages of crop growth to prevent loss of stored moisture.

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Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Gulshan Mahajan, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), University of Queensland, Gatton, QLD 4343, Australia. (Email: g.mahajan@uq.edu.au)

References

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Effect of varied soil moisture regimes on the growth and reproduction of two Australian biotypes of junglerice (Echinochloa colona)

  • Gulshan Mahajan (a1), Navneet Kaur Mutti (a2), Michael Walsh (a3) and Bhagirath S. Chauhan (a4)

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