The phytotoxic potential of the flowering foliage of gorse (Ulex europaeus) and Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius), as pre-emergent weed control in maize in a glasshouse por experiment
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/1987
EDITED VERSION: https://www.mdpi.com/2223-7747/9/2/203
UNESCO SUBJECT: 2417.19 Fisiología Vegetal ; 5312.01 Agricultura, Silvicultura, Pesca ; 3103.15 Control de Malezas
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
In our previous studies, the phytotoxicity of Ulex europaeus (gorse) and Cytisus scoparius (Scotch broom) was demonstrated in vitro and argued to be caused by the release of volatile and water-soluble compounds from fresh plant foliage. In light of these positive results, there was a need to test the effects ex vitro. In this work, gorse and Scotch broom were used as soil amendments in pot experiments in a glasshouse by incorporating slashed plant material into the soil at a ratio of 1% w/w on a dry mass basis. The phytotoxic effects on the emergence and early growth of maize and five accompanying weed species were analyzed, as were the effect on soil fertility and soil community-level physiological profiles. Thirty days after incorporation, significant decreases in weed density of 32.2% and 59.5% were found for gorse and Scotch broom soil amendments, respectively. Gorse soil amendment was notably effective impairing the establishment of Amaranthus retroflexus and diminishing the plant height of Digitaria sanguinalis and Portulaca oleracea. Scotch broom soil amendment was capable of significantly inhibiting the emergence of D. sanguinalis, Convolvulus arvensis, P. oleracea, and A. retroflexus, with a notable reduction of weed biomass. No undesirable side effects on maize crop or soil quality, including microbial activity, were detected. Our results suggest that the incorporation of gorse and Scotch broom foliage is promising for pre-emergent weed control in maize; however, field trials that support and expand these glasshouse results are essential.
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