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Effects of shepherd's purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris L. Medic.) on the growth of radish (Raphanus sativus L.).

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date1992
JournalWeed Research
Journal number5
Volume32
Number of pages7
Pages329-335
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Radish (Raphanus sativus L.), a salad vegetable, and shepherd's purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Med.), a common annual or biennial weed, are plants of similar height, leaf area and root biomass which often occur together in early summer. To assess the effects of the weed on the crop, plants were grown in well-watered and fertilized monocultures and mixtures in the greenhouse. Growth of both species in monoculture decreased, per plant, as planting density increased, particularly in radish which had a high relative monoculture response. In mixtures, at a range of planting densities, and in different proportions, radish was much the stronger competitor, its total dry matter and tuber production being affected only slightly, and not at all in some experiments, by mixture with C. bursa-pastoris. Thus the relative mixture response of radish ranged from 0.1 to 0.0, and the relative crowding coefficient of radish over Capsella was high, indicating that radish was strongly aggressive in the mixture. Although the two species had similar leaf areas in monoculture, that of C. bursa-pastoris was greatly reduced in mixture. The advantage displayed by radish in intercepting light was further enhanced when it was grown in mixtures because radish increased the height of the greatest part of its leaf area, so increasing its shading of the weed. Withholding water from plants increased dry matter partitioning to the root systems in both species, and slightly increased the competitive advantage of radish over C. bursa-pastoris. It is concluded that the weed poses little threat to the yield of radish crops in the field.