Evaluating the Competitive Abiliy of Semi-leafless Field Pea (Pisum sativum L.)
Field pea (Pisum sativum L.) is an important grain legume in western Canada. Growers can, however, be reluctant to include pulse crops such as field pea in their rotation because they are poor competitors with weeds. This thesis research was conducted to determine whether competitive differences exist among semi-leafless field pea cultivars and to determine the mechanism(s) driving competitive differences. Cultivars included in the studies were chosen on the basis of varying seed size and vine length, which are traits known to confer competitive ability. Differences in competitive ability were identified among cultivars as yield loss ranged from 9% to 31% and 14% to 31% for model weed seed return. However, cultivars were inconsistent in their competitive ranking as cultivars typically performed well for one metric, but not both. None of the traits measured in this study correlated with competitive ability. The greenhouse research was unable to identify the mechanism responsible for these competitive differences. Focal pea plants generally responded to the presence of below-ground neighbours by allocating more resources to shoot production. Therefore, semi-leafless field pea cultivars exhibit differences in below-ground responses to neighbours and it may be useful to include this as part of the selection criteria in breeding programs.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorWillenborg, Christian J.
CommitteeShirtliffe, Steve J.; Warkentin, Tom D.; Dyck, Miles; Bai, Yuguang
Copyright DateOctober 2015
integrated weed management
response to neighbours