Predicting weed emergence dynamics can help farmers to plan more effective weed control. The hydrothermal time concept has been used to model emergence as a function of temperature and water potential. Application of this concept is possible if the specific biological thresholds are known. This article provides a data set of base temperature and water potential of eight maize weeds (velvetleaf, redroot pigweed, common lambsquarters, large crabgrass, barnyardgrass, yellow foxtail, green foxtail, and johnsongrass). For five of these species, two ecotypes from two extreme regions of the predominant maize-growing area in Italy (Veneto and Tuscany), were collected and compared to check possible differences that may arise from using the same thresholds for different populations. Seedling emergence of velvetleaf and johnsongrass were modeled using three different approaches: (1) thermal time calculated assuming 5 C as base temperature for both species; (2) thermal time using the specific estimated base temperatures; and (3) hydrothermal time using the specific, estimated base temperatures and water potentials. All the species had base temperatures greater than 10 C, with the exception of velvetleaf (3.9 to 4.4 C) and common lambsquarters (2.0 to 2.6 C). All species showed a calculated base-water potential equal or up to −1.00 MPa. The thresholds of the two ecotypes were similar for all the studied species, with the exception of redroot pigweed, for which the Veneto ecotype showed a water potential lower than −0.41 MPa, whereas it was −0.62 MPa for the Tuscany ecotype. Similar thresholds have been found to be useful in hydrothermal time models covering two climatic regions where maize is grown in Italy. Furthermore, a comparison between the use of specific, estimated, and common thresholds for modeling weed emergence showed that, for a better determination of weed control timing, it is often necessary to estimate the specific thresholds.
Nomenclature: Barnyardgrass, Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) Beauv. ECHCG; common lambsquarters, Chenopodium album L. CHEAL; green foxtail, Setaria viridis (L.) Beauv. SETVI; johnsongrass, Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers. SORHA; large crabgrass, Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop. DIGSA; redroot pigweed, Amaranthus retroflexus L. AMARE; velvetleaf, Abutilon theophrasti Medik. ABUTH; yellow foxtail, Setaria pumila (Poir.) Roemer & J. A. Schultes SETLU.