Influence of environmental factors, cultural practices, and herbicide application on seed germination and emergence ecology of Ischaemum rugosum Salisb.
Ischaemum rugosum Salisb. (Saramolla grass) is a noxious weed of rice that is difficult to control by chemical or mechanical means once established. A study was conducted to determine the effect of light, temperature, salt, drought, flooding, rice residue mulch, burial depth, and pre-emergence herbicides on seed germination and emergence of I. rugosum. Germination was stimulated by light and inhibited under complete darkness. Optimum temperature for germination was 30/20°C (97.5% germination). Germination reduced from 31 to 3.5% when the osmotic potential of the growing medium decreased from -0.1 to -0.6 MPa and no germination occurred at -0.8 MPa. Germination was 18 and 0.5% at 50 and 100 mM NaCl concentrations, respectively, but was completely inhibited at 150 mM or higher. Residue application at 1-6 t ha-1 reduced weed emergence by 35-88% and shoot biomass by 55-95%. The efficacy of pre-emergence herbicides increased with increasing application rates and decreased with increasing rice residue mulching. The efficacy of herbicides was in the order of oxadiazon > pendimethalin > pretilachlor. At 6 t ha-1, all herbicides, regardless of rates, did not differ from the control treatment. I. rugosum seeds buried at 2 cm or deeper did not emerge; however, they emerged by 4.5 and 0.5% at 0.5 and 1 cm depths, respectively, compared to the 39% germination for soil surface seeding. Flooding at 4 DAS or earlier reduced seedling emergence and shoot biomass while flooding at 8 DAS reduced only seedling emergence. The depth and timing of flooding independently reduced root biomass. Flooding at 4 and 6 cm depths reduced the root biomass. Relative to flooding on the day of sowing, flooding at 8 DAS increased root biomass by 89%. Similarly, flooding on the day of sowing and at 2 DAS reduced the root-shoot biomass ratio. Under the no-flood treatment, increasing rates of pretilachlor from 0.075 to 0.3 kg ai ha-1 reduced weed emergence by 61-79%. At the flooding depth of 2-4 cm, pretilachlor reduced weed emergence and shoot and root biomass, but the differences across rates were non-significant. Information generated in this study will be helpful in developing integrated weed management strategies for managing this weed.