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Field Crops Research 135 (2012) 38–45

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Dry bean competitiveness with redroot pigweed as affected by growth habit and
nitrogen rate
Seyed Farhad Saberali a , Seyed Ali Mohammad Modarres-Sanavy a,∗ , Mohammad Bannayan b ,
Mohammad Ali Baghestani c , Hamid Rahimian Mashhadi d , Gerrit Hoogenboom e
Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Tarbiat Modares University, P.O. Box 14115-336, Tehran, Iran
Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran
Department of Weed Research, Iranian Research Institute of Plant Protection, Tehran, Iran
Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran
AgWeatherNet, Washington State University, Prosser, WA 99350, USA

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Nitrogen (N) fertilizer application can affect competition with weeds that are common in many dry
Received 1 March 2012 bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) production systems in developing countries. Field research was conducted to
Received in revised form 25 June 2012 investigate the interaction between N fertilizer rate and redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) density
Accepted 26 June 2012
on bean seed yield. Experiments were conducted in 2009 and 2010 to determine the responses of two
bean genotypes with different growth habit, semi-erect and erect, to different N fertilizer rates under
no, low and high redroot pigweed pressure. Nitrogen was applied at rates of 0, 50, 100 and 200 kg N ha−1
Competitive ability
and 0, 35, 70 and 140 kg ha−1 in semi-erect and erect bean growth habits, respectively. An increase in N
Growth habit
Seed yield
fertilizer increased biomass, seeds m−2 and seed yield for both bean genotypes when grown under no and
Weed suppression low weed pressure. Bean yield loss for the semi-erect growth habit ranged from 8 to 9% at 0 kg N ha−1 and
30 to 33% at highest N rate. Yield loss for the erect growth habit was 13–17% at 0 kg N ha−1 and 33–40% at
the highest N rate. An increase in redroot pigweed density reduced bean yield especially at the highest N
rate. The response surface model that was developed using the experimental observations indicated that
optimal bean seed yield could be achieved at derived values of 120 and 84 kg N ha−1 , respectively, in semi-
erect and erect growth habits, while maintaining a redroot pigweed density of 2600–2800 plants h−1 .
Semi-erect bean growth habit could tolerate higher redroot pigweed densities compared to erect bean
growth habit. We conclude that redroot pigweed should not exceed 2600–2800 plants ha−1 to optimize
yield, and N rates of 120 and 84 kg ha−1 will maximize dry bean yield under moderately weedy conditions
for the erect and semi-erect growth habits, respectively.
© 2012 Published by Elsevier B.V.

1. Introduction and plant vigor determine canopy height, width, and thus light
interception (Francis et al., 1976; Gardiner et al., 1979; Wang et al.,
A shortage of N, water deficit and weed competition can cause 2006). Dry bean has a range of growth habits, ranging from deter-
reduced dry bean yield (Singh, 2001; Liebman et al., 1993). Dry bean minate, short and erect types to fully prostrate vining or climbing
is especially sensitive to weed competition during the first four to types (Ehlers, 1984). The natural genetic diversity that exist in
nine weeks after planting (Dawson, 1964; Blackshaw, 1991). Weed some legumes for growth habit characteristics represent an excel-
interference can reduce bean yield up to 83% depending on the lent opportunity to use varieties with a higher weed suppression
weed species, density, and duration of the competition (Aguyoh and ability for long-term integrated weed management (Wortmann,
Masiunas, 2003; Blackshaw, 1991). In general, a high competitive 1993; Wang et al., 2006). The ability of a bean plant to sup-
ability with weeds is associated with traits that allow a crop to press weeds is related to its leaf size, leaf area index, and plant
establish ground cover faster and absorb more available resources growth rate (Wortmann, 1993). The nutrient supply, especially N,
when compared to the competing weeds. affects canopy architecture, vegetative and reproductive growth
Competition for incident photosynthetic photon flux density and finally competitiveness of both crops and weeds (Westermann
(PPFD) is a major factor in crop-weed competition. Growth habit et al., 1981; DiTomaso, 1995; Westermann et al., 2011).
The levels of nodulation and N fixation are low and variable in
bean genotypes (Bliss, 1993; Graham and Ranalli, 1997), and the
∗ Corresponding author. metabolic cost of N assimilation via N2 fixation is higher than that
E-mail address: (S.A.M. Modarres-Sanavy). for root uptake (Lynch and Wood, 1988; Pate and Layzell, 1990). The

0378-4290/$ – see front matter © 2012 Published by Elsevier B.V.
S.F. Saberali et al. / Field Crops Research 135 (2012) 38–45 39

Table 1
General properties of the top soil (0–60 cm), shown as an average over the two years.


Soil texture Sandy clay loam

EC (ds m−1 ) 1.13
pH (H2 O) 7.73
Organic matter (%) 1.03
Available nitrogen (kg ha−1 ) 22.4
Extractable P (kg ha−1 ) 262.5
Extractable K (kg ha−1 ) 2174
Soil water at −0.03 Mpa (% by weight) 16.6
Soil water at −1.5 Mpa (% by weight) 7.3

minimum theoretical biological cost of N assimilation via N fixation

has been predicted to be as much as 36% greater than that for NO3
uptake and reduction (Pate and Layzell, 1990). The photosynthetic
rate, leaf area and ultimately yield of symbiotic bean are frequently
found to be lower than of N-fertilized plants (Liebman et al., 1995;
Thies et al., 1991). Because of the negative effect of N supply on N
fixation (Westermann et al., 1981), the increase of early dry bean
growth rate under sufficient N supply can be a logical result. Fur-
thermore, the effect of N fertilizer on increasing the leaf area, leaf
chlorophyll content, photosynthetic rate and a more rapid canopy
closure (Liebman et al., 1995; Ugen et al., 2002; Westermann et al.,
1981) may improve the bean’s ability to absorb light.
Many studies have shown that fertilizers benefit weeds more
than crops in competition (Liebman and Gallandt, 2002; DiTomaso,
1995; Blackshaw et al., 2003). However, it has been reported that
the conscious timing of fertilizer applications and placement of N Fig. 1. Daily maximum and minimum temperature, precipitation and solar radiation
fertilizer can improve crop competitiveness (Angonin et al., 1996; during the growing season in 2009 and 2010 for Tehran, Iran.
Blackshaw et al., 2004). For example, N fertilizer placed as subsur-
face banded rather than surface broadcast, has been documented to experimental site. Daily precipitation, solar radiation, and maxi-
reduce the competitive ability of several weed species (Blackshaw mum and minimum temperatures during the growth period are
et al., 2004). Moreover, it has been reported that a late season sup- shown in Fig. 1.
ply of N during the grain-filling period is critical to obtain a high The experimental design was a randomized complete block with
seed yield in some legumes (Westermann et al., 1981; Salvagiotti a factorial arrangement of treatments with three replications. The
et al., 2008). Understanding the influence of N on crop–weed com- treatments included: determinate erect (cv. D81083) and indeter-
petition is important because it may be possible to use nitrogen minate semi-erect (cv. Gholi) dry bean growth habits of 80 and 90
management as a component of the integrated weed management day growth period, respectively. Nitrogen was applied at rates of
programs. Proper integration for bean growth habits and N man- 0, 50, 100 and 200 kg N ha−1 for the semi-erect bean growth habit
agement is likely important to crop competitiveness. The overall and 0, 35, 70 and 140 kg ha−1 for the erect bean growth habit, while
goal of this study was, therefore, to determine the interaction of redroot pigweed densities were 0, 4, and 28 plants m−2 . The N appli-
bean growth habits and N management on dry bean yield and cation rates were 0 (N0 ), 25 (N25 ), 50 (N50 ) and 100% (N100 ) of the
yield components when competing with weeds. Specific objectives recommended N rate on the basis of grain yield goal for each geno-
included understanding the interaction between N rate and redroot type. Average attainable seed yield for the semi-erect and erect
pigweed density, and developing a yield surface response model bean growth habits are 3900 and 2600 kg ha−1 , respectively. The
to estimate the optimal N rate for bean genotypes under weed highest recommended N rates (200 and 140 kg ha−1 ) represented
pressure. the amount of N that would meet or slightly exceed the recom-
mended rate on the basis of a grain yield goal of 3.8 and 2.5 Mg ha−1
2. Material and methods for the semi-erect and erect growth habits, respectively. N fertilizer
was applied as urea, with half of the total amount applied at plant-
Two experiments were conducted at the experimental sta- ing and the remainder applied at the early pod formation stage (R3 ).
tion of Tarbiat Modares University, Iran, in 2009 and 2010. The Soil tests indicated high levels of K and P, so no supplemental P and
soil at the study site is classified as Entisols with a sandy clay K fertilizer was applied.
loam texture (4% silt, 23% clay, 73% sand), organic matter of In both years the field was moldboard-plowed in the fall, then
1.0% and a pH of 7.7. A soil analysis that was conducted a disked and cultivated in the spring for seedbed preparation. The
few days prior to planting indicated that the available N (NO3 − size of each individual plot was 2.5 by 7 m and the bean row
and NH4 + ) to a depth of 0.6 m was 20 and 24 kg ha−1 in 2009 spacing was 50 cm. Dry bean was planted on 11 July 2009 and
and 2010, respectively. Subsamples from 0 to 60 cm soil layer 26 June 2010 and thinned to the recommended plant density
were air-dried, sieved, and then used to measure organic mat- (40 plants m−2 ) when most plants had 2–3 trifoliate leaves. Red-
ter (Walkley, 1947), available N (Keeney and Nelson, 1982), root pigweed seed was purchased from a commercial supplier and
Olsen-P (Olsen and Sommers, 1982) and NH4 C2 H3 O2 -extractable sown in a 1-cm-deep furrow; seeds were sprinkled by hands into
K (Thomas, 1982), and pH (1:1, soil:water). Further details of this furrow, covered with soil, and firmly packed. These trenches
the soil characteristics are presented in Table 1. Daily weather were located 5 cm away from the dry bean rows. The weed seeds
data were obtained from the Chitgar weather station (51◦ 10 E, were planted at a high density and were thinned to the target
35◦ 44 N, 1305.2 m above sea level), which is 1 km from the densities of either 4 (2 plants m−1 row) or 28 redroot pigweed
40 S.F. Saberali et al. / Field Crops Research 135 (2012) 38–45

Table 2
ANOVA significance levels for dry bean total biomass, seed weight, seed number, seed yield and yield loss.

Source of variation df Total biomass Seed weight Seed number Seed yield Yield loss

Year (Y) 1 *** ** ** ** NS

Genotype (G) 1 *** *** *** *** ***
Nitrogen (N) 3 *** NS *** * ***
Weed density (D) 2 *** *** *** *** ***
G×N 3 *** *** NS NS NS
G×D 2 ** NS *** NS **
N×D 6 *** *** *** *** ***
Y×G 1 NS *** NS *** NS
Y×D 2 ** NS ** * NS
Y×G×D 2 NS NS *** NS NS
G×N×D 6 NS NS *** * NS

NS indicates no significance and ***, **, * indicates significance at P levels of 0.001, 0.01 and 0.05, respectively.

plants per m−2 (14 plants m−1 row). All weeds other than redroot 3. Results
pigweed were removed by hand, interrow cultivation, and through
selective herbicides throughout the growing season. In both years, Maximum and minimum daily air temperatures were higher in
annual grass weeds were controlled by post-emergence herbicide 2010 than 2009 during most of the growing season (Fig. 1). The
(sethoxydim) that was applied at a rate of 0.30 kg ai ha−1 two weeks growth duration was longer in 2009 compared to 2010 because of
after the bean plants emerged. An 80-cm long probe was inserted the lower temperatures during 2009. There was no effective rain-
in the middle of the weed-free treatment plots and calibrated prior fall during the growing season. However, the rainfall that occurred
to the start of the experiment. Soil volumetric water content was at the end of growing season was greater in 2009 than 2010 (Fig. 1).
monitored daily for the top 60 cm of the soil using time-domain During both growing seasons, daily temperature was slightly above
reflectometry (TDR, model 4593, Soil Moisture Equipment, Santa the long term mean, whereas rainfall was below normal. The daily
Barbara), and the average soil water content based on the TDR incident solar radiation was lower in 2009 than 2010, especially
readings of the weed-free treatments was used to determine when during the reproductive stages (Fig. 1). Total incident solar radi-
to apply irrigation. The soil was irrigated to field capacity using ation during the growing season was 2162 MJ m−2 in 2009 and
a sprinkler system when 40% of the available soil water (USDA- 2302 MJ m−2 in 2010. The difference in total incident radiation
NRCS, 1997) was depleted in the top 0.6 m of the root zone. The between the years was due to the delay in sowing in 2009 compared
total amount of irrigation water that was applied during the grow- to 2010. Therefore, the difference in temperature and incident solar
ing season was 650 and 667 mm in 2009 and 2010, respectively. radiation during the growing season could be a reason for the sig-
At harvest time, 10 plants were sampled from each plot to deter- nificant interaction of the year × treatments as discussed below.
mine the number of pods plant−1 and seeds pod−1 . The middle
two rows of 3 m length were harvested for seed yield determi- 3.1. Biomass
nation. Biomass of each species was obtained by drying plants at
70 ◦ C with ventilation until a constant weight was reached. After Biomass production was affected by year (Y), growth habit (G), N
drying and threshing, grain yield was determined. The seed yield and weed density (D). There were interaction effects of G × N, G × D,
was corrected on the basis of 13% moisture. Dry bean yield loss for N × D, Y × D and Y × N × D (Table 2). Dry bean biomass production
the weed infested treatments was calculated as 100*(1 − [weedy increased with N application under no and low weed pressure, but
yield/weed-free yield]). The effects of growth habit, N application generally decreased with increased N rate at high weed density
and weed density treatments on biomass production, seed yield (Table 3). Under no and low weed density, biomass production
and yield components were tested using ANOVA, with the general respectively, increased by 26 and 25% in 2009 and by 29 and 37%
linear model procedure in the SAS (SAS, 2003). The UNIVARIATE in 2010, as N rate increased from N0 to N100 . Under high red-
procedure within SAS was used to examine the residuals for nor- root pigweed density, biomass yield decreased by 16 and 29% for
mality and to check for outliers in the data. Means were separated the N100 treatment compared to the N0 treatment in 2009 and
using Fisher’s protected least significance difference (LSD) test at 2010, respectively. The N × D interaction effect resulted in mean
the 95% level of probability. If the year by factor interaction was biomass production increases of 20 and 23% with N applications
found to be significant, then the data for each year by that factor are under no and low weed density, respectively, compared with N0 but
presented separately. The observed seed yield was used for regres- decreased by 10% with N applications at a high weed density. The
sion analyses to develop the response surface models in SAS. Seed effect of weed competition on biomass yield was associated with N
yield as a function of N rate (N) and redroot pigweed density (D) was rates application especially at high weed density. The presence of
modeled as a second-order response surface by growth habit but redroot pigweed reduced mean biomass production 9–13% under
across years. The surface response and canonical analysis provided low weed density and 13–26% under high weed density for the no
a means of characterizing the interaction visually and allowed for N application (Table 3). Mean biomass production with N appli-
an estimation of the optimum combination of N rate and weed cations decreased by 9–10% under low weed density and 30–48%
density to maximize yield. A ridge analysis was used to determine under high weed density. Mean biomass production of semi-erect
the region in which the optimum lies and to determine the direc- and erect growth habits respectively increased by 20 and 8% as N
tion in which further experimentation should be conducted. Proc rate increased from N0 to N100 . Mean biomass losses were 8 and
Rsreg (SAS) was used in these analyses to perform model fitting, 12% under low weed density and 26 and 39% under high weed den-
ANOVA, canonical analysis of the surface shape, and ridge estimates sity for the semi-erect and erect growth habits, respectively. The
for the region of optimum response (Myers and Montgomery, Y × D interaction effect showed that mean biomass production was
2002). reduced with low and high weed density compared with weed-free,
Table 3
Dry bean total biomass, seed weight and seed number influenced by nitrogen (N) rate and redroot pigweed density in 2009 and 2010.

Year Genotype N level (%) Total biomass (kg ha−1 ) Seed weight (g 100 seeds) Seed number (per m−2 )
Redroot density (Plant m )

0 4 28 Mean 0 4 28 Mean 0 4 28 Mean

(density) (density) (density)

S.F. Saberali et al. / Field Crops Research 135 (2012) 38–45

2009 Gholi 0 5213bA 4824bAB 4624aB 4887c 25.81aA 25.44aA 24.83aA 25.39ab 1237cA 1148bA 1220aA 1209a
25 5834bA 5339bAB 4774aB 5316bc 25.20abA 25.62aA 25.79aA 25.54a 1381bA 1199bB 1184aB 1255a
50 6496aA 5994abA 4531aB 5673ab 24.48abA 25.41aA 25.34aA 25.04ab 1562aA 1355aB 1106bC 1341a
100 6879aA 6388aA 4018bB 5761a 23.98bB 24.61aAB 25.83aA 24.78b 1682aA 1408aA 704cC 1265a
Mean (N) 6105A 5636B 4487C 24.85A 25.27A 25.45A 1462A 1278B 1098C
D81083 0 4694bA 4155bB 3196abC 4015a 40.29aA 40.79aA 39.79aA 40.29a 542cA 460bB 380abC 461a
25 5048abA 4272bB 3557aC 4292a 38.74aB 38.00aB 41.05aA 39.26a 614bcA 515abB 408aC 513a
50 5404aAB 4714abB 2791bcC 4302a 39.41aA 41.05aA 39.57aA 40.01a 649abA 554aB 349bcC 517a
100 5552aA 4844aB 2559cC 4319a 38.53aB 40.25aAB 42.14aA 40.34 701aA 581aB 259cC 514a
Mean (N) 5175A 4496B 3026C 39.24B 40.04AB 40.64A 627A 527B 349C

2010 Goli 0 5737cA 5144cAB 4713aB 5198b 24.17aA 25.53aA 24.75aA 24.82a 1525bA 1328bB 1262aB 1372a
25 6877bA 6376bA 4812aB 6022a 23.96aB 25.71aAB 25.92aA 25.17a 1561bA 1332bB 1206aB 1367a
50 7368abA 6773abB 4293bC 6145a 24.35aA 24.41abA 24.65aA 24.41a 1700aA 1444abB 1007bC 1384a
100 7826aA 7356aA 3715cB 6299a 23.62aB 23.90bAB 25.32aA 24.28a 1771aA 1574aB 815cC 1387a
Mean (N) 6952A 6337A 4383B 24.02B 24.89A 25.16A 1639A 1420B 1073C
D81083 0 5245cA 4426bB 3409aC 4360a 38.56aA 38.42abA 38.48abA 38.49a 659bA 580bAB 515abB 585a
25 5619bA 4891bB 3455aC 4655a 37.63aA 36.87bA 37.20bA 37.23b 724abA 622abB 550aB 633a
50 6123aA 5539aB 2453bC 4705a 38.47aA 39.38aA 38.27abA 38.71a 776aA 644abB 426bcC 616a
100 6346aA 5755aA 2029bB 4710a 38.08aB 37.82bB 40.40aA 38.76a 793aA 723aA 377cB 631a
Mean (N) 5833A 5153B 2837C 38.19A 38.12A 38.59A 738A 643B 467C

Mean (year 0 5222dA 4637cB 3985aC 32.21aA 32.54aA 31.96bA 991cA 879cB 844aB
and genotype) 25 5845cA 5219bB 4149aC 31.37bB 31.55bB 32.49abA 1070bA 917cB 837aC
50 6347bA 5755aB 3517bC 31.65abB 32.56aA 31.95bAB 1172aA 999bB 722aC
100 6651aA 6086aB 3080cC 31.05bB 31.64abB 33.42aA 1237aA 1072aB 539bC

Means followed by different letters are statistically different at P < 0.05 by LSD test. Small letters and capital letters signify differences among N rate and redroot pigweed density treatments, respectively.

42 S.F. Saberali et al. / Field Crops Research 135 (2012) 38–45

Table 4
Dry bean seed yield and yield loss influenced by nitrogen (N) rate and redroot pigweed density in 2009 and 2010.

Year Genotype N level (%) Seed yield (kg Ha−1 ) Yield loss (%)
Redroot density (Plant m−2 )

0 4 28 Mean (density) 4 28 Mean (density)

2009 Gholi 0 3190bA 2868cA 2942aA 3000a 10aA 8cA 9b

25 3377bA 2984bcAB 2918aB 3093a 12aA 14cA 12b
50 3629aA 3152abB 2653aC 3145a 13aB 27bA 20ab
100 3804aA 3385aB 1674bC 2954a 11aB 56aA 34a
Mean (N) 3500A 3097B 2547C 12B 26A
D81083 0 1913cA 1671bAB 1505aB 1696a 13aA 21dA 17c
25 2115bcA 1806abAB 1431aB 1784a 15aB 32cA 23bc
50 2387abA 1961abB 1184bC 1844a 18aB 50bA 34ab
100 2532aA 2148aB 924cC 1868a 15aB 64aA 39a
Mean (N) 2237A 1897B 1261C 15B 42A

2010 Goli 0 3416bA 3215bAB 3035aB 3222a 6aA 11cA 8c

25 3584bA 3335abAB 2910aB 3276a 7aA 19cA 13bc
50 3805aA 3456abB 2537bC 3266a 9aB 33bA 21ab
100 3918aA 3632aA 1879cB 3143a 7aB 52aA 30a
Mean (N) 3681A 3410A 2590B 7B 29A
D81083 0 2304bA 2112bAB 1916aB 2111 8aA 17cA 13c
25 2485abA 2184abAB 1965aB 2211a 12aA 21cA 16bc
50 2623aA 2316abB 1428bC 2122a 12aB 46bA 29ab
100 2718aA 2466aA 1123cB 2102a 9aB 59aA 33a
Mean (N) 2533A 2270B 1608C 10B 35A

Mean (year and 0 2706dA 2467cB 2350aB 9aB 14dA

genotype) 25 2890cA 2577cB 2306aB 12aB 21cA
50 3111bA 2721bB 1951bC 13aB 39bA
100 3243aA 2908aB 1400cC 11aB 58aA

Means followed by different letters are statistically different at P < 0.05 by LSD test. Small letters and capital letters signify differences among N rate and redroot pigweed
density treatments, respectively.
Bean yield loss was calculated as 100(1 − [weedy yield/weed-free yield]).

respectively, by 10 and 33% in 2009 and 9 and 44% in 2010. Biomass seeds m−2 for the semi-erect and erect growth habits decreased
production was higher for the semi-erect compared with the erect by 39 and 29%, respectively, as N rate increased from N0 to N100
growth habit, and dry bean biomass was greater in 2010 than 2009 (Table 3). The N × D interaction effect showed that mean seeds m−2
(Table 3). increased by 17 and 13% with N applications under no and low weed
density, respectively, compared with N0 , but decreased by 17% with
3.2. 100-Seed weight N applications at a high weed density (Table 3). The effect of weed
competition on seeds m−2 was associated with N rates application
Seed weight was affected by Y, G, D and the interaction of G × N, especially under high weed density. For no N application, mean
N × D and Y × G (Table 2). The effect of N rates on the seed weight seeds m−2 decreased by 11 and 15% under low and high weed den-
was associated with weed pressure levels. The 100-seed weight sity, respectively. Mean seeds m−2 with N applications decreased
decreased in the N25 and N100 treatments compared with the N0 by 14 and 40% under low and high weed density, respectively
treatment for the weed-free treatment. Under low weed density, . The Y × N interaction effect showed that mean seeds m−2 was
the 100-seed weight was lower for the N25 treatment compared to increased with N applications compared with no N application, by
the N0 and N50 treatments. The 100-seed weight increased for the 8% in 2009 and 3% in 2010.
highest N rate compared to the N0 and N50 treatments under high The Y × G × D interaction effect showed that mean seeds m−2
weed pressure (Table 3). Compared to the weed-free treatment, for the semi-erect growth habit was reduced with low and high
the seed weight increased under high weed pressure when bean weed density compared with weed-free, respectively, by 13% and
genotypes were grown at the N25 and N100 treatments. The same 28% in 2009, and by 13 and 34% in 2010. Mean seeds m−2 for the
trend was observed under low weed pressure for the N50 treatment. erect growth habit was reduced with low and high weed density
The G × N interaction effect showed that mean seed weight for compared with weed-free, respectively, by 16 and 44% in 2009,
the semi-erect and erect growth habits, respectively decreased and and 13 and 37% in 2010. Mean seeds m−2 was reduced by 13 and
increased as N rate increased from N0 to N100 . Mean seed weight 14% under a low weed density and 31 and 40% under a high weed
for the semi-erect and erect growth habits, respectively was 2 and density for the semi-erect and erect growth habits, respectively
4% greater in 2009 than 2010. (Table 3). The Y × D interaction effect showed that mean seeds m−2
was reduced with low and high weed density compared with weed-
free, respectively, by 14 and 33% in 2009 and 13 and 35% in 2010
3.3. Seeds m−2
(Table 3).
Seeds m−2 was affected by Y, G, N and D treatments, as well as
the interaction of G × D, N × D, Y × N, Y × D, G × N × D and Y × G × D 3.4. Seed yield
treatments (Table 2). Under weed-free conditions, seeds m−2 for
the semi-erect and erect growth habits increased by 25 and 24%, Seed yield was affected by Y, G, N and W, and by the N × D,
respectively, as N rate increased from N0 to N100 (Table 3). Under Y × G, Y × D and G × N × D interactions (Table 2). Under weed-free
low redroot pigweed density, seeds m−2 for the semi-erect and conditions, seed yield for the semi-erect and erect growth habits
erect growth habits increased by 20 and 25%, respectively, as N increased generally linearly by 17 and 25%, respectively, as N rate
rate increased from N0 to N100 . However, under high weed density increased from N0 to N100 (Table 4 and Fig. 2). Under low redroot
S.F. Saberali et al. / Field Crops Research 135 (2012) 38–45 43

4500 3000
Weed free
Weed free
2 Low weed pressure 2161+3.6N (R2 =0.91)
Low weed pressure 3345+2.8N (R =0.93)
4000 High weed pressure
High weed pressure
Seed yield (kg ha-1)

Seed yield (kg ha-1)


3048+2.3N (R2 =0.98) 1899+3.0N (R2 =0.98)


2500 1500

3004-1.4N-0.02N2 (R2 =0.99)
1762-5.3N (R2 =0.92)

0 50 100 150 200 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140
Nitrogen rate (kg ha-1) Nitrogen rate (kg ha-1)

Fig. 2. Dry bean grain yield response (kg ha−1 ) of semi-erect (left) and erect (right) genotypes to applied N (kg N ha−1 ) under weed free, low and high redroot pigweed density
across the two years.

pigweed density, seed yield for the semi-erect and erect growth growth habits, respectively, in relation to N rate and weed pressure.
habits increased linearly by 15 and 22%, respectively, as N rate However, the contribution of linear effect in fitted surface response
increased from N0 to N100 . However, under high redroot pigweed was 55% and 60% for the semi-erect and erect growth habits, respec-
density, seed yield for the semi-erect and erect growth habits tively. The estimated seed yield based on the surface response
decreased by 50 and 55%, respectively, with non-linear and linear model showed that the recommended N rate to optimize yield
declines as N rate increased from N0 to N100 (Table 4 and Fig. 2). for the weed-free conditions, could also recommend to increase
The N × D interaction effect resulted in mean seed yield increases seed yield for bean genotypes in the presence of redroot pigweed
of 14 and 11% with N applications under no and low weed den- up to 4 plants m−1 row (80,000 redroot pigweed ha−1 ). 50% of the
sity, respectively, compared with N0 but decreased by 20% with maximum N requirement could increase seed yield of erect bean
N applications at a high weed density (Table 4). Mean yield loss growth habit for a density of 4–6 redroot pigweed plants m−1 row.
with no N application was 10% under low weed density and 15% The same N rate to increase of seed yield could apply when semi-
under high weed density. Mean yield loss with N applications was erect bean growth habit grown under a redroot pigweed density
12% under low weed density and 40% under high weed density. The of 4–8 plants m−1 row. 25% of the maximum N requirement could
G × D interaction effect showed that mean yield loss were 9 and 27% have a yield advantage for the erect growth habit when grown
for the semi-erect growth habit and 13 and 39% for erect growth under a weed density of less than 8 redroot pigweed plants m−1
habit under low and high weed pressure, respectively. Mean seed and for the semi-erect bean growth habit when grown under a weed
yield was reduced with low and high weed density compared with pressure of less than 10 redroot pigweed plants m−1 .
weed-free, respectively, by 13 and 34% in 2009 and 9 and 32% in
2010. Mean yield of the erect was 59 and 66% compared with the 4. Discussion
semi-erect growth habit in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
Lower seed yield for 2009 compared to 2010 was associated with
3.5. Surface response and canonical analysis of seed yield less total incident radiation. Total biomass yield, 100 seed weight,
and seeds m−2 were also less in 2009.
A surface response analysis was conducted to explore the inter- Seed and biomass yield response to N rate was affected by weed
action between N fertilizer rates and redroot pigweed density on density, as was observed for maize (Cathcart and Swanton, 2003).
seed yield of the two bean growth habits. The canonical analysis The negative effect of redroot pigweed competition on dry bean
of the surface response indicated that there was no unique maxi- seed and biomass yield, and seed m−2 increased with redroot pig-
mum or minimum point (saddle surface) within the range of factors weed density, and with N rate at the high weed density. Dry bean
used (Fig. 3). Weed density was more important than N rate in seed yield increased linearly with N rate at no and low weed density
yield determination for both growth habits. The ridge analysis of but competitiveness of weeds at high density increased with N
the surface response estimates the location of the “region of opti- rate with increased suppression of bean yield. Bean is an N-fixing
mal response” (Myers and Montgomery, 2002). In this study the legume but N fixation often does not meet the N need of bean, espe-
ridge analysis indicated that the highest yields were obtained for cially for short-season, erect genotypes (Isoi and Yoshida, 1991;
the highest N rate and weed-free conditions, whereas seed yield Bliss, 1993). Liebman et al. (1995) showed a linear response of bean
for both genotypes increased by the simultaneous increase of N yield to N fertilizer up to 135 kg N ha−1 .
rate and decrease of weed pressure. Ridge analyses of the sur- In this study, bean seed yield decreased linearly for the erect and
face response estimated that the ridge for the optimum response non-linearly for the semi-erect bean genotypes with an increase in
was 120 kg N ha−1 at a 0.13 density of redroot pigweed plants m−1 N rate at high weed density. Aguyoh and Masiunas (2003) reported
for the semi-erect growth habit and 84 kg N ha−1 at a density of that early emerging redroot pigweed reduced snap bean yield
0.14 redroot pigweed plants m−1 for the erect growth habit. The by 13–58% at densities of 0.5–8 plants m−1 , respectively. Liebman
estimated seed yield at the optimum response was 3733 kg ha−1 and Gallandt (2002) reported that bean yield in monoculture with
(SEM = 48.6) and 2480 kg ha−1 (SEM = 58.8). The results showed 84 kg N ha−1 applied was 23–26% greater than with no N applied,
that the fitted quadratic response model explained 89% and 80% and bean seed yield increased with N application rate in some but
of the variance in the seed yield of the semi-erect and erect not all years when beans were grown in competition with wild
44 S.F. Saberali et al. / Field Crops Research 135 (2012) 38–45

Fig. 3. Surface response model of bean seed yield as influenced by applied N fertilizer (kg N ha−1 ) and redroot pigweed density (plants m−2 ) in erect and semi-erect genotypes.
Surface response regression for the semi-erect genotypes: 3247 + 5.80N − 125W – 0.01N2 − 0.68WN + 7.95W2 (R2 = 0.89). Surface response regression for the erect genotypes:
2115 + 5.61N − 124W − 0.01N2 − 0.66WN + 6.92W2 (R2 = 0.80).

mustard (Brassica kaber L.). They reported increased dry bean yield Dry bean seed yield components were also affected by the N × D
with ammonium nitrate applied under weed-free conditions, but interaction. Under weed-free and weed-infested conditions, the
this response did not occur in competition with wild mustard. variation in seed yield response to N rate and weed competition
Others have reported increased competitiveness of weeds with was more closely associated with seeds m−2 than with 100-seed
crops as N rate increases (Liebman and Gallandt, 2002; DiTomaso, weight. Ugen et al. (2002) also reported that bean response to N
1995; Blackshaw et al., 2003). Blackshaw and Brandt (2008) found and P applications with increased pods m−2 . In bean, pod number
increased competitiveness of redroot pigweed with increased soil has been shown to be the most sensitive yield component to weed
N level. competition (Adams, 1967; Woolley et al., 1993).
There is evidence that indeterminate types are better suited to
suppress weeds than determinate or bush beans and that LAI is 5. Conclusion
the most important bean plant trait for improving weed suppres-
sion (Wortmann, 1993; Malik et al., 1993). Indeterminate cultivars Semi-erect compared with erect dry bean growth habits are
of soybean had faster canopy development than determinate cul- more competitive with redroot pigweed. The optimal N applica-
tivars (Newcome et al., 1986), which enhanced their competitive tion rate for maximizing bean seed yield is less under expected
ability against weeds. In our study, the difference in seed yield loss high compared with low weed densities and N application should
between low and high weed pressure was significant when semi- be adjusted according to the expected weed density. Consequently,
erect bean growth habit grown under more than 25% of maximum bean genotype selection and N application rate are important com-
N requirement. For the erect bean growth habit, any N application ponents of integrated weed management to develop sustainable
may reduce seed yield loss under high weed pressure. systems that rely less on herbicide use.
The competitive ability of redroot pigweed associated with soil
fertility (Blackshaw and Brandt, 2008) can be affected by the abil-
ity of dry bean genotypes to capture soil N. Ugen et al. (2002) Acknowledgements
reported that bean relative to weed uptake of nutrients decreased
with N and P application but relative bean uptake increased with K We wish to acknowledge the assistance provided by an anony-
application. Westermann et al. (2011) found that bean genotypes mous reviewer.
with higher biomass yield also had higher nutrient uptake. In our
study, dry bean seed yield was more affected by redroot pigweed References
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