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Contribution of ammonium to stimulation of smooth pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus L.) germination by extracts of hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) residue

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Hairy vetch is a leguminous winter annual cover crop that provides a significant contribution toward meeting the nitrogen requirement of succeeding crops. Hairy vetch residue is capable of suppressing weeds, but low levels of residue can intermittently stimulate the emergence of weeds, particularly smooth pigweed. This research was conducted to assess the inhibitory and stimulatory effects of hairy vetch extracts on two smooth pigweed lots with differing dormancy conditions under differing germination conditions (25 or 35 deg C in light or dark). Fullstrength extracts inhibited germination of both lots under all conditions, a result explained by the inhibitory osmotic potential of the full-strength extract. At <, 0.1X proportions of the hairy vetch extract, there was a slight stimulation of germination above that of the control (average = 11%) of both lots of pigweed under all germination conditions, except for a large stimulation (87%) by the more dormant lot at 25 deg C in light. A similar response to ammonium hydroxide solutions was observed, in which germination stimulation averaged 7% for all conditions except for germination of the dormant pigweed lot that was stimulated 115% by 15 p.p.m. of ammonium (NH**4+) at 25 deg C in light. As the NH**4+ concentration in the hairy vetch extract was similar to that in the ammonium hydroxide solutions that promoted the largest stimulation of germination, and because there was a high correlation between the degree of germination stimulation by hairy vetch extracts and by ammonium hydroxide, NH**4+ appears to be the principle ingredient in the extract responsible for stimulation of smooth pigweed germination.
Teasdale, J.R. , Pillai, P.
Includes references
Weed biology and management 2005, v. 5, no. 1
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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