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Journal of Biological Sciences
  Year: 2014 | Volume: 14 | Issue: 7 | Page No.: 452-459
DOI: 10.3923/jbs.2014.452.459
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Mechanisms of Ecological Weed Management by Cover Cropping: A Review
Fikre Lemessa and Mulatu Wakjira

Weeds are important biotic constraints in agroecosystems that interfere with crop plants and consequently reduce yield and quality of crops. An estimated world-wide crop yield loss of about 43% was reported when weeds are left uncontrolled. Agricultural intensification since the 1940s mainly focused on heavy reliance on chemical herbicides to control the weed problem. Nowadays, this is considered objectionable due to the potential negative impacts of herbicide compounds on food safety, non-target organisms, beneficial species, public health and the environment and development of herbicide resistant weeds. Therefore, systems-oriented approaches to weed management that make better use of alternative weed management tactics which are compatible with a specific production system need to be developed. One of such approaches is the use of plants with strong weed-suppressing ability as a component of integrated crop management. Cover crops are well-suited in such holistic approach as they provide many other agroecosystem services besides suppressing weeds. Living cover crops suppress the development of weed populations through niche pre-emption. Moreover, cover crop residues suppress or retard weed emergence and growth due to both allelopathic and physical effects. In this study, major mechanisms were reviewed through which cover crops serve as ecological weed management.
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How to cite this article:

Fikre Lemessa and Mulatu Wakjira, 2014. Mechanisms of Ecological Weed Management by Cover Cropping: A Review. Journal of Biological Sciences, 14: 452-459.

DOI: 10.3923/jbs.2014.452.459








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