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Effects of Soil pH on Competitive Ability and Leaf Nutrient Content of Corn (Zea mays L.) and Three Weed Species

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 June 2017

Susan E. Weaver
Agric. Canada Res. Stn., Harrow, Ontario, Canada NOR 1GO
Allan S. Hamill
Agric. Canada Res. Stn., Harrow, Ontario, Canada NOR 1GO


Effects of soil pH on growth, competitive ability, and leaf nutrient content of corn (Zea mays L.), Powell amaranth (Amaranthus powellii S. Wats. ♯ AMAPO), velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti Medic. ♯ ABUTH), and green foxtail [Setaria viridis (L.) Beauv. ♯ SETVI] were measured in the field. Corn yields were significantly reduced by weed competition at all pH levels, but leaf nutrient content, as a percentage of dry weight, was not affected. Aboveground dry weights of Powell amaranth and velvetleaf were significantly lower at pH 4.8 than at pH 6.0 or 7.3, whereas growth of green foxtail was greater at pH 4.8 than at pH 7.3. Weed competitive ability, as evidenced by reductions in dry weight, varied with soil pH and companion plant. Powell amaranth and velvetleaf had higher levels of S, Zn, and especially Mn, at pH 4.8 than at pH 7.3. N and K in the leaf tissue were greater in the weed species than in corn at all soil pH levels. The dicot species had higher percentages of Ca and Mg in leaf tissue at all soil pH levels and accumulated higher percentages of Mn at low pH than the monocot species.

Physiology, Chemistry, and Biochemistry
Copyright © 1985 by the Weed Science Society of America 

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