Light Quality Effect on Corn Growth as Influenced by Weed Species and Nitrogen Rate

  •  Thomas Butts    
  •  Joshua Miller    
  •  J. Pruitt    
  •  Bruno Vieira    
  •  Maxwel Oliveira    
  •  Salvador Ramirez II    
  •  John Lindquist    


Corn-weed competition has often been characterized as the competition for limited resources such as light quantity, water, and nutrients. However, growing evidence suggests that light quality, specifically the red:far red ratio (R:FR), is a crucial component to corn-weed interactions. Additionally, a reduction in the R:FR has shown to down-regulate plant genes similarly to a nitrogen (N) deficient environment. A greenhouse study was conducted to evaluate the effect of N stress and R:FR from common waterhemp, velvetleaf, and volunteer corn on corn growth and development. The R:FR for all three weed species tended to be similar but lower than a weed-free treatment. However, observations from the spectral response curves demonstrated significant changes in the patterns of light reflected from each weed species. In the N-sufficient environment, early-season (V5 corn growth stage) R:FR from all three weed species reduced corn height, leaf chlorophyll content, and shoot biomass while increasing fibrous root biomass. However, in the N-deficient environment, no effects were observed on corn growth from changes in light quality, indicating N stress was a greater limiting factor. These results highlight the importance of the critical weed-free period and the need for proper early-season weed management.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • Issn(Print): 1916-9752
  • Issn(Onlne): 1916-9760
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: monthly

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