Agriculture-the Alleopathic Effect of Weeds on Crops

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  • Topic: Weed, Plant, Seed
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  • Published : March 7, 2009
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Practical Research & Report Assessment.

Allelopathy and interference and the effect they have on plant growth.

Allelopathy occurs in plants. Many plants produce chemicals that may be harmful or beneficial to other plants. In some cases a species can produce chemicals that can prevent the growth or germination of another species. An example of this is Australian native plants such as Casuarinas and Eucalypts which produce allelochemicals that prevent competition of other plants. This is a form of a defence mechanism in order to survive. A negative effect of Allelopathy includes Patterson’s Curse. Patterson’s curse releases allelochemicals that inhibit the germination and growth of other plants. When plants are competing they compete for natural abiotic and biotic resources.

However not all Allelopathy is negative. Some plants release acids and minerals that are beneficial to other plants. For example some plants release phosphate-solubilising acids that provide phosphate to other plants lacking this mineral. Also an allelopathic crop can be used to control weeds by planting a variety with allelopathic qualities, either as a overpowering crop, in a rotation, or when left as a residue or mulch in low-till systems, to control succeeding weed growth.

The effects Allelopathy has on plants are things such as:
Reducing the yield of a crop
Inhibiting the growth, root growth and germination of a plant Stunting the germination of a plant
Taking over the area in which a plant inhibited
Contaminating crops

Interference is when an organism affects another. Interference involves the competition for natural resources by plants. Resources include water, sunlight, CO2, space and nutrients. Another form of interference can be a plants leaf blocking the sunlight from another plant. Plants can also act as a host for pests and diseases which may affect the surrounding plants. Also they interfere with each other in different ways.

Experimental Report.

The Allelopathic Effects Of Weeds On Crops
To test the Allelopathic effects of several types of weeds on crops (Wheat)

Equipment used
o 300 Wheat Seeds
o 5 different types of weeds: Patterson’s Curse, Sorrel, Broom, Saffron and Blue Weed. o A mortal and pestle.
o 5 petri dishes for each weed and 5 petri dishes for the control. o Tap water.
o Synthetic cotton wool/ Paper Towel
o Gauze mat.
o Pipet.
o Beakers.

o The majority of the petri dishes were lined with paper towel except for the control which was lined with synthetic cotton wool. o The wheat seeds were divided into 6 groups of 10 seeds spaced approximately even into each of the 6 petri dishes. o The 5 types of weeds (Patterson’s Curse, Sorrel, Broom, Saffron and Blue Weed) were grounded up separately in a mortal and pestle and each mixed with water creating a tea. o A gauze mat was placed over a beaker and the tea was drained o The pipet was used to water the seeds with the weed tea. o The seeds were watered once a day everyday with their selected weed tea for 2 weeks o The results were recorded

|Petri Dish |Control |Patterson’s Curse |Sorrel |Broom |Saffron Thistle |Blue Weed | |1 |10/10 |0/10 |10/10 |10/10 |6/10 |3/10 | |2 |9/10 |0/10 |10/10 |8/10 |6/10 |3/10 | |3 |10/10 |1/10 |3/10 |8/10 |5/10 |5/10 | |4 |10/10 |3/10 |6/10 |2/10 |4/10 |3/10 | |5...
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