Much of the agricultural area in California's southwestern San Joaquin Valley (SJV) is prone to moisture stress and high soil-salinity conditions. Increased prevalence of glyphosate-resistant (GR) biotypes of junglerice [Echinochloa colona (L.) Link] in these environments and their ecological implications need to be further explored. Studies were conducted on GR and glyphosate-susceptible (GS) biotypes of E. colona to compare the effects of moisture and salinity stress on seed germination and salinity stress alone on growth and seed production. Intraspecific competition between the GR and GS plants was also assessed in a replacement series design experiment. With respect to germination, both biotypes were tolerant to moisture and salinity stress at germination; however, the GR biotype was more tolerant than the GS biotype. Water potential and electrical conductivity (EC) levels that reduced germination by 50% were estimated as –1.5 and –2.3 MPa and 8.5 and 12 dS m-1 for the GS and GR biotypes, respectively. The EC levels that reduced aboveground biomass by 50% were estimated as 9 and 11.5 dS m-1 for the GS and GR biotypes, respectively. Seed production was generally greater in the GR than the GS plants below 10 dS m-1. All plants produced up to 140 seeds plant-1, even at 20 dS m-1. The GR plants were more competitive and produced more aboveground dry biomass and seeds than the GS plants when grown together or alone. In conclusion, differences between these particular GR and GS biotypes to environmental stresses and intraspecific competition were noted that could have ecological implications for their prevalence in the southwestern SJV. The results also suggested that there could be high genetic variability and phenotypic plasticity in E. colona populations in the SJV and further population shifts could occur due to selection pressure from glyphosate.
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Vol. 66 • No. 3