Effect of different densities of parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus L.) on the performance of direct-seeded rice under aerobic conditions.
Parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus L.) is an emerging weed species in direct-seeded aerobic systems of rice production. This two-year field study was conducted to evaluate the effect of five different densities (0, 5, 10, 15 and 20 plants m-2) of parthenium weed on rice yield and yield-related attributes. Parthenium weed produced ca. 38 to 178% higher biomass at its densities of 10 to 20 plants m-2 as compared to the lowest density of 5 plants m-2. The paddy yield and yield-related attributes were negatively affected with an increase in the parthenium weed density. In both years, the highest reductions in number of rice panicles (14 to 17%), panicle length (10 to 11%), number of grains per panicle (11 to 18%), 1000-grain weight (8 to 21%) and paddy yield (30 to 35%) were recorded at the highest parthenium weed density (20 plants m-2) tested. However, the lower densities of 5 to 15 parthenium weed plants m-2 also caused 11 to 24% and 12 to 26% losses in paddy yield during the years 2016 and 2017, respectively. Therefore, this weed species should be controlled below the density of 5 plants m-2 to avoid the substantial yield losses (over 15%) in direct-seeded rice.