Field experiments were conducted in 1996, 1997, and 1998 at Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec, Canada, and in 1996 at Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, to quantify the impact of corn hybrids, differing in canopy architecture and plant spacing (plant population density and row spacing), on biomass production by transplanted and naturally occurring weeds. The treatments consisted of a factorial combination of corn type (leafy reduced stature [LRS], late-maturing big leaf [LMBL], a conventional Pioneer 3979 [P3979], and, as a control, a corn-free condition [weed monoculture]), two weed levels (low density [transplanted weeds: common lambsquarters and redroot pigweed] and high density [weedy: plots with naturally occurring weeds]), two corn population densities (normal and high), and row spacings (38 and 76 cm). At all site-years under both weed levels, the decrease in biomass production by both transplanted and naturally occurring weeds was greater due to the narrow row spacing than due to the high plant population density. The combination of narrower rows and higher population densities increased corn canopy light interception by 3 to 5%. Biomass produced by both transplanted and naturally occurring weeds was five to eight times less under the corn canopy than in the weed monoculture treatment. Generally, weed biomass production was reduced more by early-maturing hybrids (LRS and P3979) than by LMBL. Thus, hybrid selection and plant spacing could be used as important components of integrated pest management (weed control) for sustainable agriculture.
Nomenclature: Common lambsquarters, Chenopodium album L. #3 CHEAL; corn, Zea mays L.; redroot pigweed, Amaranthus retroflexus L. # AMARE.
Additional index words: Competitivness, early maturity, weed management.
Abbreviations: LAI, leaf area index; Lfy, leafy; LMBL, late-maturing big leaf; LRS, Leafy reduced stature; P3979, Pioneer 3979; rd1, reduced stature.