Weed species diversity in organic and integrated farming systems

Magdalena Jastrzębska, Wiesław P. Jastrzębski, Czesław Hołdyński, Marta K. Kostrzewska

Abstract


Phytosociological data were collected in 1994–1996 in plots (relevés) at the Research Station for Organic Farming and Conservation Breeding of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Popielno included in a large-area experiment conducted according to the concept and method proposed by Prof. S. Nawrocki. In a four-field crop rotation (root crops – spring barley undersown with red clover and grasses – red clover/grass mixture – winter triticale), each field was divided into two management units, organic and integrated. Data were collected in relevés by the Braun-Blanquet method, each year at the peak of the growing season. Weed abundance (% cover) in cultivated fields and the number of weed species (species richness) in crops were determined, which provided a basis for calculating the Shannon-Wiener indices of species diversity and evenness, and the Rényi profiles. The qualitative (species) and quantitative structure of weed communities was compared using the Sørensen index. A total of 115 weed taxa (species, subspecies and varieties) were identified in the examined agro-phytocenoses. Echinochloa crus-galli, Chenopodium album, Matricaria maritima subsp. inodora, Capsella bursa-pastoris, Thlaspi arvense and Stellaria media were the most abundant. Weed infestation was slightly higher in the organic farming system than in the integrated system. Organic farming contributed to higher weed species diversity in root crops, red clover/grass mixtures and winter triticale. Weed species richness was reduced in red clover/grass stands, while root crops and – to a lesser degree – spring barley undersown with red clover and grasses decreased weed species diversity. The species composition and in particular the quantitative structure of weeds were affected by crop species and cultivation regime rather than by the farming system. Weed communities of crops grown under organic and integrated farming systems were more similar with regard to species composition than the quantitative structure.

Keywords


weeds; species richness; Shannon–Wiener index; Rényi profiles; Sørensen index; organic farming; integrated farming; crop rotation

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References


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