University of Selye Janos

Komárno, Slovakia

University of Selye Janos

Komárno, Slovakia
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Pinke G.,Széchenyi István University | Karacsony P.,Széchenyi István University | Karacsony P.,University of Selye Janos | Czucz B.,Institute of Ecology and Botany | Botta-Dukat Z.,Institute of Ecology and Botany
Crop Protection | Year: 2017

Oil pumpkin is a major emerging alternative crop with several unresolved weed management questions in central-eastern Europe, one of the focal regions of oil pumpkin production worldwide. This study aims to assess the importance of three groups of factors: environment, non-chemical management (all management excluding herbicides), and chemical weed management, in determining the weed species composition of oil pumpkin crops in Hungary. We surveyed the weed flora of 180 oil pumpkin fields across the country, along with 32 background variables. Applying a minimal adequate model consisting of 18 terms with significant net effects, 30.8% of the total variation in weed species data could be explained. Most variation in species composition was determined by environmental factors, with climatic conditions (precipitation and temperature) being most influential. The net effects of seven non-chemical management variables (preceding crop, N and P fertilisers, seeding rate, crop cover, cultivating tillage, and manual weed control), and two herbicides (S-metolachlor and linuron) were also significant. Variation partitioning demonstrated the dominance of environmental factors, and it also showed that non-chemical management practices accounted for five times more variance than herbicides. Within non-chemical management, the relative impact of cultural variables was nearly five times larger than that of mechanical weed management. Among the abundant weeds, Chenopodium polyspermum and Ambrosia artemisiifolia were positively associated with precipitation, Datura stramonium and Hibiscus trionum correlated with higher temperature, and Chenopodium album favoured larger potassium content of the soil. High seeding rate and crop cover suppressed Amaranthus retroflexus, cultivating tillage reduced Ambrosia artemisiifolia and Setaria pumila, while conspicuous tall weeds like Abutilon theophrasti and Chenopodium album were most vulnerable to manual weed control. Although the short stature of pumpkin with its poor weed-suppressive ability could unfavourably influence the results of some cultural practices, our findings suggest that the weed vegetation of oil pumpkin fields can be efficiently managed also with environmentally benign methods. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.

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