Competition between Imperata cylindrica and maize in the forest savannah transition zone of Nigeria uri icon

abstract

  • Imperata cylindrica is a noxious weed that infests annual and perennial crops in most tropical regions. High crop densities may offer opportunities to reduce I.cylindrica competition in small-scale farming systems. The competitive ability of maize relative to I.cylindrica was evaluated in an addition series experiment in the forest savannah transition zone in 2006 and 2007 at Ibadan, Nigeria. Maize and I.cylindrica were planted in eight monoculture densities (4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 32, 48 and 64plantsm(-2)) and in a 1:1 mixture at eight total densities (2:2, 4:4, 6:6, 8:8, 10:10, 16:16, 24:24 and 32:32 maize: I.cylindrica plantsm(-2)) as in monoculture. Non-linear regression models were used to relate crop and weed shoot biomass to their densities and total grain yield to maize density. In maize, intraspecific competition was more than interspecific competition; in I.cylindrica, interspecific competition was higher than intraspecific. As expected, total grain yield was lower in the mixture than in maize monoculture at all total densities. Average maize grain yield in maize monoculture differed from that in mixtures by 0.77tha(-1) in 2006 and 0.57tha(-1) in 2007. Niche differentiation indices were 1 in 2007, indicating that both species competed for similar resources in 2006, but not in 2007. The greater competitive ability of maize over I.cylindrica may be associated with rapid growth and canopy development observed in the field.

publication date

  • 2014
  • 2014
  • 2014