Corn straw mulching affects Parthenium hysterophorus and rhizosphere organisms.
In a previous study, straw mulching (SM) significantly affected the soil microbial environment, and weed composition and biomass. We hypothesized that corn SM may effectively control Parthenium hysterophorus. The growth traits, and the physico-chemical and microbiological properties of rhizosphere soils around P. hysterophorus were analyzed in 2014 and 2015. Compared to the control, plant emergence, biomass, plant height, leaf numbers, leaf area index, and flower and seed numbers significantly decreased in the SM treatments. Flowering time was delayed by 5-11 days, pH was slightly reduced, and organic matter and available N/P/K increased in the rhizosphere. The number of culturable bacteria fell slightly during plant emergence, but bacteria levels increased significantly during flowering. Nitrospira and Actinobacteria dominated the microbial communities and their composition ratio increased under SM. The results suggest that SM affects rhizosphere microbial community composition, and the emergence and growth of P. hysterophorus.