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Open AccessArticle

The Effect of Organic Mulching and Irrigation on the Weed Species Composition and the Soil Weed Seed Bank of Tomato

1
Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Plant Protection Institute, Szent István University, H-2100, Páter Károly u. 1., H-2100 Gödöllő, Hungary
2
FKF Nonprofit Zrt. H-1081, Alföldi u. 7., H-1081 Budapest, Hungary
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2020, 9(1), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9010066
Received: 11 December 2019 / Revised: 31 December 2019 / Accepted: 1 January 2020 / Published: 3 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Weed Ecology and Management)
Mulching is a management technique to control weeds in organic and integrated tomato production. Our experiment was designed to investigate the impact of organic mulch combined with irrigation on the weed species composition and weed seed bank of open-field tomato. For three consecutive years (2016–2018), treatment of microplots included mulch only, irrigation only, mulch and irrigation combined, and the untreated control. Marginal microplots (bordered by the surrounding mown grassland) were distinguished from inner microplots to check margin effect. We collected soil samples from different depths and let the weed seeds germinate in a greenhouse. Germinated weed seedlings were counted and identified. The number of weeds, and time needed for weeding was reduced by mulching, temperature, sampling date, and the succession of the study years. Irrigation, on the other hand, had no effect on weeding time. Margin effect and year had the highest influence on weed species composition. Regarding seed bank, year and mulching had the highest influence. The importance of other variables remained low, with mulching being the strongest explained variable. Regardless of treatments, weed composition of the study area was transformed during the three-year study. View Full-Text
Keywords: integrated weed management; leaf litter mulch; weed ecology; germination tests; weed seed bank integrated weed management; leaf litter mulch; weed ecology; germination tests; weed seed bank
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Petrikovszki, R.; Zalai, M.; Tóthné Bogdányi, F.; Tóth, F. The Effect of Organic Mulching and Irrigation on the Weed Species Composition and the Soil Weed Seed Bank of Tomato. Plants 2020, 9, 66.

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