Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Critical competition period of parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus L.) in maize.

Abstract

For minimizing yield losses due to infestation of a weed, it is essential to know about its critical period of competition in a specific crop. The yield response of maize (Zea mays L.) to different competition periods (0, 35, 42, 49 and 56 days after crop emergence (DAE), and competition throughout growing season) of the invasive weed Parthenium hysterophorus L. was tested during autumn seasons of two consecutive years 2012 and 2013. Increasing parthenium competition period increased its dry weight up to 448% and relative competition index up to 52%. The corresponding increases in the uptake of N (up to 581%), P (up to 700%) and K (up to 669%) were also recorded. Parthenium weed competition period of 35 DAE decreased grain yield and harvest index of maize. However, number of grains and grain weight per cob, and 100-grain weight of maize were reduced at parthenium weed competition period beyond 42 and 56 DAE, respectively. Maize grain yield losses varied between 21 and 53% with parthenium competition period ranging from 35 DAE to full growing season. Maximum N, P, and K uptake by parthenium was 18.4, 2.4 and 17.7 kg ha-1, respectively. A three parameter logistic model was fitted to yield data in response to increasing durations of weed infestation. The critical timing of parthenium weed removal to avoid 5% and 10% maize grain yield loss was 8 and 17, and 13 and 23 DAE during year 2012 and 2013, respectively. Relatively shorter critical period of parthenium weed competition in maize crop suggested this weed to be highly allelopathic in addition to its competitive behavior.