Modeling the Population Dynamics of a Community of Two Grass Weeds of Winter Wheat in a Mediterranean Area
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Compared to classical, only-one weed species models, demographic projections accounting for species interactions within the weed community might represent a more realistic approximation to the outcome of weed control options in Mediterranean cereal crops. A mathematical model for simulating the dynamics of a weed community composed of populations of Lolium rigidum and Avena sterilis growing in winter wheat under a Mediterranean climate has been constructed using previous reported data on demographic rates. The model was used to simulate the population long-term dynamics and the effect of eight herbicide-based control strategies. In absence of herbicide application, our model predicts that A. sterilis seed bank increases steadily up to an equilibrium density of 2567 seeds m−2 whereas L. rigidum is driven to extinction after a period of 9 years. The most effective strategy in terms of reducing weed abundance in the long-term was the application of full dose of herbicide controlling L. rigidum and half-dose of herbicide controlling A. sterilis, which resulted in an equilibrium level of 25 seeds m−2 for L. rigidum and extinction of A. sterilis. A sensitivity analysis showed that the demographic process to which the model was more sensitive was seed rain loss in both species. Furthermore, control tactics specifically focusing on these demographic parameters should be investigated.
KeywordsSeed bank Avena sterilis Lolium rigidum Herbicide Simulation Sensitivity analysis
This work has been funded by FEDER (European Regional Development Funds) and the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness funds (Projects AGL2015-63130-R).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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