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Late watergrass is a competitive weed of rice that is well adapted to both aerobic and anaerobic environments. Cultural controls such as a stale-seedbed and alternating from wet- to dry-seeding have been proposed as management options. However, the effects of these systems on its emergence and early growth are unknown. The objective of this study was to modify a previously developed population-based threshold model (PBTM) to predict emergence and early growth under field conditions. In 2013, a series of experiments were conducted at the California Rice Experiment Station (CRES) in Biggs, CA, to evaluate emergence and early growth of multiple herbicide–resistant and -susceptible late watergrass at four burial depths (0.5, 2, 4, and 6 cm) under three irrigation regimes: continuously flooded (CF), daily flush (DF), and intermittent flush (IF). Resistant plants emerged at a significantly higher rate under the IF treatment (P < 0.05). Both biotypes showed decreasing emergence with increasing depth, and no plants emerged from the 4- or 6-cm depths in the CF treatment. Using the Gompertz growth curve, resistant plants had greater predicted growth rates (k), lower predicted maximum heights (hmax), and a shorter time to predicted maximum growth rate (tm) than susceptible plants under the CF and DF treatments. Under the IF treatment, the susceptible plants had greater k, lower hmax, and shorter time to predicted tm. Information about burial depth and irrigation was incorporated into a previously developed PBTM for late watergrass, and validated at the CRES in a field with a susceptible late watergrass population in 2013 and 2014, under two irrigation systems, CF and IF. Model fit was best in the CF treatments (average Akaike information criteria [AIC] = 199.05) compared to the IF treatments (average AIC = 208.6).
The repetitive use of ALS inhibitors for smallflower umbrella sedge (Cyperus difformis L.) control has selected for herbicide-resistant (R) populations that threaten the sustainability of rice (Oryza sativa L.) production and demand alternative control measures be developed. A better understanding of seedling recruitment patterns at the field level is required to optimize the timing and efficacy of control measures. Therefore, a population-based threshold model was developed for optimizing germination prediction in multiple acetolactate synthase (ALS)-R and ALS-susceptible (ALS-S) C. difformis biotypes and applied to field-level emergence predictions. Estimated base temperatures (Tb) ranged from 16.5 to 17.6 C with no clear pattern between biotypes; such values are higher than Tb values of other important rice weeds, as well as for rice. Germination rates increased linearly from 16 to 33.7 C. ALS-R seeds germinate faster due to smaller median thermal times to germination (θT(50)) while also displaying lower germination synchronicity across water potentials. Interestingly, ALS-R biotypes were capable of germinating under lower moisture availability, as indicated by their lower (more negative) base water potential values (Ψb(50)) for seed germination; Ψb(50) values ranged from −0.24 to −1.13 MPa. In-field soil germination measurements found thermal times to emergence varied across three water regimes (daily water, flooded, or saturated). Seedling emergence under the daily water treatment was fastest; however, total seedling density was lower than for the other water regimes. In order to optimize springtime C. difformis seedling emergence, soil moisture should be kept around field capacity, as germination is hindered at lower moisture contents. By predicting when most of the seed population germinates, the thermal-time model can address issues regarding the optimal timing for herbicide applications, thereby allowing for improved C. difformis management in rice fields.
Smallflower umbrella sedge is a prolific C3 weed commonly found in rice fields in 47 countries. The increasing infestation of herbicide-resistant smallflower umbrella sedge populations threatens rice production. Our objectives for this study were to characterize thermal requirements for germination of smallflower umbrella sedge seeds from rice fields in California and to parameterize a population thermal-time model for smallflower umbrella sedge germination. Because the use of modeling techniques is hampered by the lack of thermal-time model parameters for smallflower umbrella sedge seed germination, trials were carried out by placing field-collected seeds in a thermogradient table set at constant temperatures of 11.7 to 41.7 C. Germination was assessed daily for 30 d, and the whole experiment was repeated a month later. Using probit regression analysis, thermal time to median germination [θT(50)], base temperature for germination (Tb), and SD of thermal times for germination [σθT(50)] were estimated from germination data, and model parameters were derived using the Solver tool in Microsoft Excel®. Germination rates increased linearly below the estimated optimum temperatures of 33.5 to 36 C. Estimated Tb averaged 16.7 C, whereas θT(50) equaled 17.1 degree-days and σθT(50) was only 0.1 degree-day. The estimated Tb for smallflower umbrella sedge is remarkably higher than that of japonica and indica types of rice, as well as Tb of important weeds in the Echinochloa complex. Relative to the latter, smallflower umbrella sedge has lower thermal-time requirements to germination and greater germination synchronicity. However, it would also initiate germination much later because of its higher Tb, given low soil temperatures early in the rice growing season in California. When integrated into weed growth models, these results might help optimize the timing and efficacy of smallflower umbrella sedge control measures.
Dose-response studies estimating GR40 values indicated different levels of propanil resistance in junglerice populations from fields previously treated with propanil, compared to a check population collected where this herbicide had never been used. The GR40 for susceptible populations ranged from 0.36 to 0.50 kg ai ha−1 and for resistant populations ranged from 1.10 to 3.10 kg ai ha−1. Considerable variability in growth and morphology existed among populations. Variability in cumulative leaf area, aboveground biomass, mean relative growth rate, mean net assimilation rate, and mean leaf area ratio could not be related to propanil resistance. Competitiveness was not related to propanil resistance either. of several vegetative and reproductive parameters measured at maturity, only grain weight per plant and number of grains per plant were correlated with GR40 (r = −0.73, P = 0.06). This trend towards lower reproductive fitness in propanil-resistant junglerice plants may reduce its ecological success when growing with propanil-susceptible plants in the absence of this herbicide.
Barnyardgrass [Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) Beauv. #4 ECHCG] and pigweeds (mixture of Amaranthus retroflexus L. # AMARE and A. powellii S. Wats. # AMAPO) seeded separately with alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) in mid-August suppressed alfalfa severely before frost killed them in October and November. Some alfalfa was killed, and yield of alfalfa forage was reduced in each of three harvests the following year. These weeds did not harm alfalfa seeded in mid-September. Downy brome (Bromus tectorum L. # BROTE) and tumble mustard (Sisymbrium altissimum L. # SSYAL) suppressed alfalfa seeded in August and September. They reduced alfalfa stands and reduced yield of alfalfa forage in each of three harvests the following year. Alfalfa seeded August 27 and allowed to compete with a mixture of these species for various periods was injured most by weeds that emerged with the alfalfa and remained uncontrolled until forage harvest in May. These weeds did not reduce alfalfa yields if removed by 36 days after alfalfa emergence. Thereafter, yield decreased as the period of weed interference increased. Interference was most damaging in early spring, when growth of winter annual weeds was rapid and vigorous. Weeds seeded 65 or more days after alfalfa emergence did not reduce alfalfa yields but sometimes produced enough biomass to reduce the quality of the first-cutting alfalfa hay.
Basic factors contributing to the rapid evolution and broad distribution of acetolactate synthase (ALS)-inhibiting herbicide resistance in smallflower umbrella sedge L. have not yet been investigated. The objectives of this study were to examine patterns of cross-resistance to ALS herbicides and genetic diversity within and among smallflower umbrella sedge populations in California rice fields to provide insight into the processes contributing to resistance spread. Twelve different patterns of herbicide cross-resistance were found across the 56 populations sampled. The frequency of populations with at least one resistant individual in the North, Central and South Sacramento Valley, and the San Joaquin Valley were 76, 86, 67, and 50%, respectively. Analysis of the genetic diversity of 29 populations using 73 sequence-related amplified polymorphism molecular markers revealed little genetic diversity within populations, with estimates of Nei's gene diversity index, h, ranging from 0 to 0.049, and Shannon's information index (I) ranging from 0 to 0.079. Hierarchical analyses of molecular variance indicated that the majority of genetic variation was partitioned among populations, rather than within populations or among regional groups. No isolation by distance was evident. Unweighted pair group method with arithmetic averages analysis indicated that population clustering was not region specific. The results suggest that resistance to ALS-inhibiting herbicides in smallflower umbrella sedge populations from California rice fields appears to have evolved independently multiple times rather than spread from a single population where resistance originated. Consequently, prevention and management of smallflower umbrella sedge in California rice fields should emphasize in-field strategies that focus on decreasing the selection pressure caused by ALS-inhibiting herbicides.
Biotypes of smallflower umbrella sedge and ricefield bulrush resistant to acetolactate synthase (ALS)-inhibiting herbicides have been reported in several rice areas of the world. Here, we present results of a study conducted on whole plants of seven smallflower umbrella sedge and four ricefield bulrush biotypes collected in Italian, Spanish, and Californian rice fields to evaluate cross-resistance to ALS herbicides in these important weeds of temperate rice. The following herbicides were tested: bensulfuron-methyl, halosulfuron, cinosulfuron, imazamox, and bispyribac-sodium. The smallflower umbrella sedge and ricefield bulrush biotypes studied exhibited different cross-resistance patterns, some of which have not been previously reported. The Italian smallflower umbrella sedge biotype was cross-resistant to bensulfuron-methyl, cinosulfuron, imazamox, and bispyribac-sodium, but was susceptible to halosulfuron. One smallflower umbrella sedge biotype from California was also resistant to bensulfuron-methyl, imazamox, and bispyribac-sodium, but had a lower level of resistance to halosulfuron. In contrast, the second smallflower umbrella sedge biotype from California was strongly resistant to halosulfuron and was also resistant to bensulfuron-methyl and bispyribac-sodium, but moderately resistant to imazamox. The Spanish smallflower biotype was resistant to the sulfonylurea herbicides bensulfuron-methyl and halosulfuron. Different responses were observed in ricefield bulrush. The Italian biotype was resistant to the sulfonylureas only, whereas the biotype from California exhibited broad cross-resistance to all the ALS herbicides tested. Knowledge on cross-resistance is needed to formulate herbicide use and weed management strategies for delaying the evolution of resistance to ALS herbicides in rice systems.
Echinochloa phyllopogon is a serious weed of California rice that has evolved resistance to most grass herbicides. We assessed differences in growth, interference, and fecundity between multiple resistant (R) and susceptible (S) E. phyllopogon. Interference with rice by R and S plants was similar, although R plants were shorter and had less leaf area and shoot biomass than S plants. Interference by one S or R E. phyllopogon plant with rice was 2.31 or 2.45 times greater than intraspecific interference by one rice plant, respectively. Interference was mostly driven by root interactions and E. phyllopogon on average produced seven times more root dry weight than rice. Deeper E. phyllopogon root placement compared with rice may explain niche differentiation between the two species. On average, R plants produced 55% less seeds than S plants. Lower fecundity could compromise fitness of R plants in the absence of herbicide selection, but partial avoidance of seed removal during rice harvest through earlier seed shattering may allow greater soil seed bank replenishment by R plants compared with S plants. E. phyllopogon control is needed to prevent high rice yield losses, and suppressing survivors of initial herbicide treatments is essential to limit seed bank replenishment by R plants. The potential benefits of taller rice varieties with enhanced root competitiveness, and that may be harvested earlier, should be considered.
Assessing belowground plant competition is complex because it is very
difficult to separate weed and crop roots from each other by physical
methods. Alternative techniques for separating crop and weed roots from each
other are needed. This article introduces a stable isotope method that can
quantify the amounts of roots of rice and barnyardgrass intermixed in
flooded field soils. It relies on the biological principle that rice, a
C3 (photosynthetic pathway) species, discriminates more
effectively than barnyardgrass, a C4 species, against a
relatively rare isotopic form (13C) of CO2. This
results in different 13C: 12C isotope ratios
(expressed as δ13C) in root tissues of the two species.
δ13C values for monoculture barnyardgrass and rice grown in a
standard flood-irrigated system were highly stable over 4 crop-years,
averaging −13.12 ± 0.80 (SD) and −28.5 ± 0.11 (SD)‰, respectively, based on
analysis by an isotope ratio mass spectrometer. Standard concentration
curves relating measured δ13C values to set proportions of
rice:barnyardgrass root biomass were described by linear regressions,
typically with r2 values of 0.96 or greater. Quantities of intermixed rice and
barnyardgrass roots sampled 0 to 5 cm deep from soil between rice rows were
estimated by extrapolation from standard curves based on δ13C
values. About 50% more barnyardgrass root tissue was detected in plots of
Lemont long-grain rice than in weed-suppressive PI 312777 indica rice,
demonstrating the feasibility of using this stable carbon isotope method in
flooded rice systems.
Resistance to the thiocarbamates has been selected in early watergrass populations within the rice-growing region of California. To elucidate the processes contributing to the spread of resistance among rice fields, we characterized the genetic diversity and differentiation of thiobencarb-resistant (R) and thiobencarb-susceptible (S) populations across the Central Valley using microsatellite markers. A total of 406 individuals from 22 populations were genotyped using seven nuclear microsatellite primer pairs. Three analytical approaches (unshared allele, Shannon–Weaver, and allelic-phenotype statistics) were used to assess genetic diversity and differentiation in the allohexaploid species. Low levels of genetic variation were detected within populations, consistent with other highly selfing species, with S populations tending to be more diverse than R populations. FST values indicated that populations were genetically differentiated and that genetic differentiation was greater among S populations than R populations. Principal coordinate analysis generated two orthogonal axes that explained 88% of the genetic variance among early watergrass populations and differentiated populations by geographical region, which was associated with resistance phenotype. A Mantel test revealed that genetic distances between R populations were positively correlated with the geographical distances separating populations. Taken together, our results suggest that both short- and long-distance seed dispersal, and multiple local and independent evolutionary events, are involved in the spread of thiobencarb-resistant early watergrass across rice fields in the Sacramento Valley. In contrast, resistance was not detected in early watergrass populations in the San Joaquin Valley.
The development of optimal weed management strategies that rely, in part, on crop interference will require an understanding of how weeds compensate for limitations in above- and belowground resources. Trade-offs in the leaf morphology and biomass partitioning of rice and late watergrass were investigated under glasshouse conditions in 1999 and 2000. Both species responded to shade with increased height, reduced biomass, greater partitioning of biomass to leaves, and greater leaf area ratios. At the lowest light level (18% sunlight), plants of both species showed little response to nitrogen (N). However, height, tillers, biomass, and leaf area increased for plants grown at 50% and full sunlight as N increased from 0 to 224 kg N ha−1. Late watergrass exhibited more plasticity in specific leaf area and root weight ratio than rice in response to shade. This plasticity contributed to the ability of late watergrass to maintain a higher percent of its tillers and total dry weight than rice when sunlight was reduced by 50%. These results support the hypothesis that except at low light levels, limited N further reduces the growth of shaded late watergrass plants. Thus, weed management strategies that limit the plasticity of late watergrass by manipulating light and N availability are likely to be more effective than strategies that rely on manipulating a single resource.
Johnsongrass is a common weed of corn in Chile, which is most often controlled by nicosulfuron, an acetohydroxyacid synthase (AHAS)-inhibiting herbicide. Recurrent nicosulfuron use has resulted in selection for resistant johnsongrass biotypes. We conducted studies to determine nicosulfuron resistance levels in two johnsongrass biotypes from Chile and to investigate if this resistance was target-site mediated. Whole-plant resistance to nicosulfuron was 33 and 46 times higher in resistant (R) than in susceptible (S) plants grown from seed and rhizomes, respectively. The nicosulfuron concentrations for 50% inhibition of AHAS enzyme activity in vitro were more than 11 times higher in R than in S plants. Sequencing analysis of the AHAS coding sequence revealed a Trp-574-Leu substitution in both R biotypes. This study shows that resistance to nicosulfuron in the two R biotypes is conferred by an altered target site. We also report the first consensus sequence of the johnsongrass AHAS gene corresponding to the known mutation sites conferring resistance to AHAS-inhibiting herbicides.
A suspected glyphosate-resistant (R) junglerice population was collected
from a glyphosate-R corn field near Durham in northern California where
glyphosate had been applied at least twice a year for over 6 yr. Based on
the amount of glyphosate required to reduce growth by 50% (ED50),
the R population was 6.6 times more R than the susceptible (S) standard
population. Based on the glyphosate concentration that inhibits EPSPS by 50%
based on shikimate accumulation (I50) in leaf discs, R plants
were four times more R than S plants. By 3 d after treatment with 0.42 kg ae
ha−1 glyphosate, the S population had accumulated
approximately five times more shikimate than the R population. No
differences in [14C]-glyphosate uptake and translocation were
detected between R and S plants. However, partial sequencing of the
EPSPS gene revealed a mutation in R plants causing a
proline to serine change at EPSPS position 106 (P106S). Our results reveal
the first case of a P106S target site mutation associated with glyphosate
resistance in junglerice.
A biotype of green foxtail found in Spain exhibited cross-resistance among acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase)–inhibiting herbicides. Field doses that totally inhibited shoot fresh weight in the susceptible (S) biotype were determined for six aryloxyphenoxypropionates (clodinafop, diclofop, fenoxaprop-P, fluazifop-P, haloxyfop-P, and propaquizafop) and six cyclohexanediones (clefoxydim, clethodim, cycloxydim, sethoxydim, tepraloxydim, and tralkoxydim). The resistant (R) biotype showed cross-resistance to all herbicides except fenoxaprop-P, propaquizafop, clefoxydim, and tepraloxydim. There were no differences in the absorption, translocation, and metabolism of [14C]diclofop between the S and R biotypes. On the basis of herbicide dose that inhibited ACCase activity by 50% (I50 values), ACCase of the R biotype was 5.8-, 13.9-, 20.0-, 102.4-, 416.7-, and 625.0-fold less sensitive to clethodim, haloxyfop, diclofop, fluazifop, cycloxydim, and sethoxydim, respectively, than that of the S biotype. Two multifunctional ACCase isoforms (ACCase I and ACCase II) were purified partially and separated. ACCase II was highly resistant to diclofop acid in both biotypes, with I50 values ranging between 92 and 95 μM. However, the I50 values observed for ACCase I revealed that the R biotype was 30.8-fold less sensitive to diclofop than the S biotype. These results suggest the mechanism of resistance in green foxtail to diclofop relates to an altered ACCase I isoform.
Resistance to herbicides and the lack of viable control options have led to an interest in increasing the role of crop competition as a weed management tool in water-seeded rice production. Weed-suppressive rice cultivars have been suggested as a tool that could improve weed control and reduce the reliance of growers on herbicides. Field studies were conducted at Biggs, CA, in 1999 and 2000 with six to eight semidwarf rice cultivars to identify water-seeded rice traits related to the suppression of watergrass growth. Cultivars S-201 and M-302 were the most suppressive in both years. The dry weight (DW) of watergrass grown with the most suppressive cultivar was only 16% in 1999 and 57% in 2000 of the DW of watergrass grown with the least suppressive cultivar. Rice leaf area and root DW in weed-free plots were linearly related to watergrass DW in both years. Weed-suppressive traits were not inversely correlated with rice yields in monoculture; competitive cultivars also had high yields. This study suggests that an indirect selection program, based on traits that can be identified early in the season under weed-free conditions, has great potential for developing more competitive cultivars for water-seeded rice.
Echinochloa oryzoides and E. phyllopogon have become the most serious weeds in California Oryza sativa since continuous flooding was used to suppress E. crus-galli. Continuous use of a limited number of available graminicides and an increasing number of control failures led to the investigation of herbicide resistance in E. oryzoides and E. phyllopogon. Greenhouse dose-response studies with postemergence (POST) applications of molinate, thiobencarb, fenoxaprop-ethyl, and bispyribac-sodium estimating GR50 (herbicide dose to inhibit growth by 50%) values suggested resistance to all herbicides in two E. phyllopogon accessions and to molinate and thiobencarb in one E. oryzoides accession when compared with susceptible E. phyllopogon and E. oryzoides controls, respectively. No resistance was detected in dose-response studies with propanil. Minimum and maximum ratios (R/S) of the GR50 values of resistant to susceptible E. phyllopogon plants (in two experiments involving two resistant accessions) were 7.8 and >13.3 for thiobencarb, 2.2 and 4.3 for molinate, 16.5 and 428.7 for fenoxaprop-ethyl, and 2.0 and 12.0 for bispyribac-sodium. Minimum and maximum E. oryzoides R/S ratios (average of two experiments) were 21.9 and 4.6 for thiobencarb and molinate, respectively. A resistant E. phyllopogon (one accession tested) and the susceptible control were killed by POST applications of glyphosate, glufosinate, and clomazone, and by a preemergence application of pendimethalin. Thus, the repeated use of the few available grass herbicides in the predominantly monocultured O. sativa of California has selected for herbicide resistance in E. oryzoides and E. phyllopogon. The introduction of herbicides with new mechanisms of action will be useful to manage herbicide-resistant E. oryzoides and E. phyllopogon. However, cross- and multiple resistance emphasize the need to integrate herbicide use with nonchemical means of weed management.
Late watergrass is a serious weed of California rice that has evolved resistance to molinate, thiobencarb, fenoxaprop-ethyl, and bispyribac-sodium. To obtain an insight into the origin and spread of resistant (R) late watergrass in California rice fields, we evaluated similarities in morphological traits and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) fingerprints among 15 R strains compared with susceptible (S) strains. All strains were derived by inbreeding from accessions collected in rice fields of the Sacramento Valley, CA. In the field, R plants were shorter than S plants; they also had narrower and shorter flag leaves and thinner culms. Spikelets also appeared smaller and more slender in R plants. There was greater morphological similarity among the 15 R strains than among the eight S strains. The mean coefficients of variation for morphological traits were much smaller among R strains, which in a cluster analysis (Ward's method) were grouped morphologically apart at early clustering stages from the more variable S strains. AFLP electropherograms also showed greater similarity between R strains. R strains were grouped separately from the S strains in a cluster analysis based on calculated Nei and Li coefficients used in an unweighted pair group method using arithmetic means. However, small genetic differences also existed because the R strains were grouped into six clusters, suggesting that R strains were not samples from an identical strain. It was concluded that R strains originated from a preexisting and preadapted mutant late watergrass population in the Sacramento Valley. This study establishes that resistance moved by spikelet dispersal, not independent mutation events, most likely defined the geographical distribution of R late watergrass in California. Prevention and control of this dispersal combined with elimination of seed-producing survivors after herbicide treatment should be relevant components of the integrated management of herbicide-resistant late watergrass in California rice.
Determining the mechanisms of herbicide resistance in weeds allows for the development and implementation of applied management practices aimed to control and to prevent further spread of herbicide-resistant populations in crop fields. This research was conducted to determine propanil resistance and cross-resistance to other photosystem II (PSII) inhibitors in ricefield bulrush biotypes and to elucidate the mechanism of propanil resistance. To this end, propanil-resistant (R) and propanil-susceptible (S) biotypes were selected from field-collected populations after propanil spraying at the field rate, and whole-plant, dose–response experiments were conducted to evaluate cross-resistance to PSII inhibitors and interactions between propanil and the insecticides malathion and carbaryl. In addition, the psbA gene from R and S biotypes was sequenced for amino acid alterations following polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification. Plant survival data indicated the R biotype displayed a 14-fold increase in propanil resistance relative to the susceptible (S) biotype. In addition, the propanil-R biotype also had increased resistance to the PSII-inhibitors bromoxynil, diuron, and metribuzin but was more susceptible to bentazon than were propanil-S plants. Synergism between propanil and the insecticides carbaryl and malathion was greater in the S biotype than it was in the R biotype, indicating that, unlike propanil resistance in weedy grasses, enhanced degradation of the herbicide molecule is not a mechanism of resistance for propanil in ricefield bulrush. A Val219 to Ile substitution in the propanil-R chloroplast D1 protein was identified following sequencing of the psbA gene. This research suggests a single-point mutation at the target site causes resistance to propanil, diuron, metribuzin, and bromoxynil but increasing susceptibility to bentazon in propanil-R ricefield bulrush, a novel Val219–Ile feature. To our knowledge, this is the first instance of propanil resistance in weeds because of a mechanism other than enhanced herbicide metabolism. Tank-mixing bentazon and propanil, where permitted, can control both propanil-R and propanil-S biotypes.
Weeds are the major biotic constraint to rice production. Field observations have suggested that certain fertilizer regimes could enhance infestations of particular weed species emerging with rice. The study objective was to determine the effect of surface-applied calcium phosphate on weed growth in flooded California rice systems. In field and pot studies, triple superphosphate (TSP) applied to the soil surface increased weed emergence. Surface-applied TSP increased the number of sedge and broadleaf weeds, including smallflower umbrella sedge, blue-flowered ducksalad, redstem, ricefield bulrush, waterhyssop, and California arrowhead. A laboratory study measured germination of smallflower umbrella sedge and ricefield bulrush in response to the application of phosphorus (P) and calcium (Ca), which comprise 20 and 15% of TSP, respectively. Calcium stimulated smallflower umbrella sedge germination and had no effect on ricefield bulrush germination. Phosphorus did not stimulate either smallflower umbrella sedge or ricefield bulrush germination. Results indicate that surface applications of calcium phosphate increase the growth of certain weed species and that Ca may stimulate germination of smallflower umbrella sedge. By incorporating preplant applications of calcium phosphate into the soil profile, growers can reduce weed pressure from certain species. Alternatively, surface applications of calcium phosphate may be useful to stimulate weed emergence in stale-seedbed management.
Resistance to herbicides in the most important weeds threatens the sustainability of California rice. Weed-competitive rice cultivars could be a low-cost and safe nonchemical addition to an integrated weed management program. Trade-offs between competitiveness and productivity and inconsistent trait expression under weedy and weed-free conditions could complicate the breeding of competitive rice cultivars. A 2-year competition experiment was conducted in the greenhouse involving eight rice cultivars and two weed competition regimes (presence or absence of late watergrass) to examine the effects of rice weed-suppressive ability and tolerance to weed competition (weed tolerance) on rice yield. Competition reduced average rice yield from 32 to 48%, and watergrass biomass from 44 to 77%. Path analysis suggested that enhancing rice weed-suppressive ability and weed tolerance while minimizing possible productivity trade-offs should promote early (12 d after seeding) growth and light-capture traits followed by moderate growth rates before heading and a vigorous grain filling period. Crop growth rate (CGR) after heading was a relevant determinant of yield (direct path: 0.82, P < 0.01) and correlated (r = 0.30, P < 0.01) with weed tolerance. Late biomass accumulation was negatively correlated with harvest index and CGR during ripening (r = −0.46, P < 0.01); thus, late-season competitiveness can lower productivity. Rice traits conferring competitiveness were correlated across weed competition regimes (r = 0.36–0.81, P < 0.01). However, significant cultivar-by-competition and cultivar-by-year interactions suggest that selection efficiency would be greater when traits are identified under competition and in different environments. This study relates to the phenotypic expression of traits for competitiveness. Breeding competitive cultivars will require additional knowledge on trait heritability, genetic correlations with competitiveness, and on the effects of the environment upon gene expression.