Greenhouse and field studies were conducted in 1998 and 1999 to compare the growth and development of one imidazolinone-susceptible (S) and four -resistant (R1, R2, R3, and R4) smooth pigweed biotypes under noncompetitive and competitive conditions. Under noncompetitive conditions in the greenhouse, S plants accumulated biomass, grew faster during early seedling development, and accumulated leaf area sooner than plants from R2, R3, and R4 biotypes. At various times during the experiment, S plants grew faster and more efficiently used leaf area to accumulate more biomass than did R2, R3, and R4 plants. In addition, leaves emerged faster on S plants than on R2, R3, and R4 plants. R3 and R4 biotypes had significantly less chlorophyll per gram of plant tissue compared with S. In contrast, most growth parameters measured for S and R1 plants were similar. Biomass production in the field under intra- and interbiotypic competition was similar for S and all R biotypes. Findings from noncompetitive growth studies in the field were inconclusive, and further investigations are warranted. On the basis of these findings, S displayed an advantage in vegetative growth and development over three out of four imidazolinone-resistant biotypes during the early stages of development, but competitive differences were not confirmed in the field.
Nomenclature: Smooth pigweed, Amaranthus hybridus L. AMACH.