Models of a four-species annual weed community : growth, competition, and community dynamics Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/qb98mh74f

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  • Models of weed communities aid in the development of weed management strategies and elucidate the processes and mechanisms that regulate plant populations and communities. A conceptual weed community model was developed to organize key regulatory life-history processes. Specific investigations focused on the processes of plant growth and competition, and relationships between growth ability and competitive ability. Plant competition was investigated from two perspectives: the intensity of competition and the importance of competition. Intensity is the response of a plant to competition; importance is the role of competition in regulating populations and communities. Recent applications of fundamental yield-density relationships have enhanced interpretations that can be made about the mechanisms and implications of competition. Plant growth and competition experiments were conducted for a community of four annual weed species to 1) quantify competition intensity using yield-density relationships, 2) link processes of plant growth and competition, and 3) characterize the importance of competition in the community. The weed species were Amaranthus retroflexus L., Chenmodium album L., Echinochloa crus-galli L., and Lolium multiflorum Lam.. Experiments were conducted for two years in the field, using isolated, container-grown individuals for growth analysis, and an addition series design for competition. Results indicated strong relationships between plant growth traits and competitive abilities; however, these relationships were sensitive to variation in the environment. Yield-density models and population models suggested that the role of competition in population dynamics varied for the four species, and indicated that other key life-history processes may significantly influence the weed community. In particular, seed bank dynamics and interactions between the environment (temperature and light) and growth, competition and seed bank processes were emphasized for further development and implementation of the weed community model.
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