J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2005, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (10): 1193-1210.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2005.00131.x

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Multivariate Analysis, Description, and Ecological Interpretation of Weed Vegetation in the Summer Crop Fields of Anhui Province, China

Sheng QIANG   

Abstract: Two surveys were conducted to investigate weed vegetation in a 153-hm2 sampling area of summer crop fields from Anhui Province, China, through visual scoring of the level of weed infestation compared with summer crops on a seven-class scale. In total, 155 sampling sites were selected in the field based on crops, tillage, rotation systems, geographical regions, and soil types across the province. Data on weed communities and environmental factors were collected and analyzed through principal component analysis (PCA) and canonical correspondence analysis (CCA), and the output was interpreted ecologically. Results showed that the main factors influencing the structure and distribution of weed communities in summer crop fields were the soil submersion period, latitude, and soil type and pH. The CCA indicated a significant relationship between weed dominance and soil submersion duration, latitude, and soil pH. From the result of the PCA and CCA ordination, the 155 sampling sites could be divided into three groups based on geographic and floristic composition, as well as weed abundance. The southern dry land group, which was characterized by a double-cropping system in the hilly regions of southern and central Anhui Province with a continuous summer crop and an autumn dry land crop, was dominated by Galium aparine Linn. var. tenerum (Gren. et Godr) Robb., Avena fatua L., and Veronica persica Poir. The northern dry land group, which had the same cropping system as the southern dry land group, was dominated by G. aparine var. tenerum, Galium tricorne Stokes, Descurainia sophia (L.) Schur., and Lithospermum arvense L. in the North Anhui Province, China. These two dry land groups could be combined into one large dry land group, in which the Galium weed vegetation type dominated. The third group was the paddy soil group, which was characterized by a continuous summer crop and double- or triple-cropping systems of rice, and prevailed in the south and central areas of Anhui Province; Alopecurus aequalis Sobol. was the dominant weed in this group. Other main weeds in this group included Malachium aquaticum (L.) Fries, Stellaria alsine Grimm, Alopecurus japonicus Steud., and Lapsana apogonoides Maxim. Thus, the weed community distributions in this group were described as the Alopecurus weed vegetation type. The paddy soil group could be divided into two subgroups, one southern and one central paddy soil subgroup. A strategy for integrated weed management is suggested according to the weed distribution pattern. The present study serves as a good example of how a quantitative research method was used to associate a visual estimate of weed infestation with multivariate analyses, such as PCA and CCA, and how this method can be applied to the study of weed vegetation on arable land.

Key words: canonical correspondence analysis (CCA), ecological interpretation, principal component analysis (PCA), saturated soil humidity, summer crop fields, weed communities, weed vegetation.

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