Wild oat is a problematic weed species that requires new management techniques in the face of herbicide resistance; harvest weed-seed control (HWSC) may be an option. Wild oat demographic information was collected in long-term, rotational field studies in Lacombe, AB, Canada, in 2006 and 2007, and a periodic matrix model was parameterized using management extremes (no IPM, no herbicide to high IPM, and full herbicide). Population growth rates were calculated for each treatment and year. Prospective (elasticity) and retrospective (LTRE) analyses were conducted alongside a rearrangement of the model equation in which population growth rates were designated and the required proportion of newly shed seed survival that gives that growth rate was solved for. All populations had λ > 1 or increasing populations. Elasticity analyses indicated that λ was most-highly elastic to the overwinter seedbank (Esw = 1), followed by seedling survival, fecundity, and survival of newly shed seed (0.63 to 0.86 across treatments). The latter may be the most-accessible vital rate for management of herbicide resistant populations. LTRE exposed the stochasticity of wild oat population growth rates between years and their ability to take advantage of lapses in control. Decreasing the proportion of newly shed seeds (snew) that survives was the most-effective and available control strategy until reduced to 0.1 to 0.3 when the summer seedbank becomes more critical. When averaged across treatments, > 80% of newly shed seed must be eliminated to stop the population from growing, resulting in a stable population, but not a decline. Because of preharvest shattering, HWSC will likely not be effective enough alone to cause wild oat populations to decline. New management techniques for wild oat control that can be used in combination with HWSC and integrated weed management strategies are needed.
Nomenclature: Wild oat, Avena fatua L. AVEFA.