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Modelling weed population dynamics: impact of cultural control and climate change

By Bastiaan Brak

Abstract

Over the last three decades, concern about food safety and the management of natural resources has increased. Instigated by the previous EU pesticide review, (EU 91/414) carrot growers in particular have been hit by the revocation of several post-emergence herbicides. There is real concern among growers that this may impair profits. To identify alternative weed control strategies, a modelling framework capable of simulating the impact of alternative weed management strategies on long-term weed population dynamics, was proposed. Scentless mayweed (Tripleurospermum inodorum) was chosen as model weed species. The system represented in ECOSEDYN (Effects of Cultural control and climate On SEedbank DYN\ud For each component model in ECOSEDYN the literature was reviewed to identify the best mathematical representation and then the model was parameterised. To improve accuracy of model projections and address gaps in knowledge, field experiments were conducted in two areas: soil cultivation, and plant growth and reproduction. The results of the cultivation experiments revealed that key assumptions in models for weed seed re-distribution are incorrect. The experiments focusing on plant growth and reproduction resulted in a novel approach to the modeling of biomass increase, flowering and seed shedding where the different processes were quantitatively and temporally linked using Beta functions. amics), comprises a six-year crop rotation: one year of carrot and five years winter wheat and repeated four times. The weed management strategies consist of combinations of cultural control measures (sowing time and crop maturity time). In addition, the interaction of climate with the cultural control measures was assessed by implementing two future climate scenarios, (‘No change’ vs ‘Heating up’) based on weather data over the last 18 years.\ud The results of the ECOSEDYN simulations showed that, regardless of the prevailing climate, choosing a fast maturing carrot cultivar is by far the most important factor in maintaining the weed seedbank low. In addition, the risk for higher seedbank levels in the long-term under ‘Heating up’ climate is largest if carrot is continuously sown late

Topics: SB
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:2743

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