Experiments were conducted in 2006 to 2008 to study growth, phenology, and competitive ability of glyphosate-resistant (GR) and -susceptible (GS) biotypes of horseweeds from San Joaquin Valley (SJV), CA. When grown alone, in pots, the GR horseweeds consistently developed more rapidly than the GS weeds, as evidenced by their earlier bolting, flowering, and seed set; the GR horseweeds set seeds nearly 25 d (approximately 190 fewer growing degree days) sooner than the GS horseweed. At seed set, the relatively slow-developing GS horseweeds had amassed 40% more shoot dry matter than the GR weeds at the same phenological stage, but neither biotype was consistently more fecund than the other. Although the GR biotype had lower shoot dry mass than the GS biotype when grown alone, in mixed populations under increasing levels of competition (in a replacement series design) and limited resources (mainly moisture), the GR weeds were not only taller, but also accumulated more dry matter than the GS weeds. Thus, the GR biotype was more competitive than the GS biotype, particularly when grown at high densities and under moisture-deficit stress. Therefore, under California conditions there is no apparent fitness penalty for this particular GR horseweed biotype, and it is likely to persist in the environment and outcompete the GS biotypes regardless of further glyphosate selection pressure. If so, this biotype of GR horseweed is likely to become increasingly common in the SJV until effective management strategies are developed and adopted.
Nomenclature: Horseweed, Conyza canadensis (L.) Cronq. ERICA