Soil salinization is one of the most critical environmental factors affecting crop yield. It is estimated that 20% of cultivated land and 33% of irrigated agricultural land are affected by salinity. In the last decades, considerable effort to manage saline agro-ecosystems has focused on 1) controlling soil salinity to minimize/reduce the accumulation of salts in the root zone and 2) improving plants ability to cope with osmotic and ionic stress. Less attention has been given to other components of the agro-ecosystem including weed populations, which also react and adapt to soil salinization and indirectly affect plant growth and yield. Weeds represent an increasing challenge for crop systems since they have high genetic resilience and adaptation ability to adverse environmental conditions such as soil salinization. In this review, we assess current knowledge on salinity tolerance of weeds in agricultural contexts and discuss critical components of crop-weed interactions that may increase weeds competitiveness under salinity. Compared to crop species, weeds generally exhibit greater salt tolerance due to high intraspecific variability, associated with diverse physiological adaptation mechanisms (e.g. phenotipic plasticity, seed heteromorphism, allelopathy). Weed competitiveness in saline soils may be enhanced by their earlier emergence, faster growth rates and synergies occurring between soil salts and allelochemicals released by weeds. In the future, a better understanding of crop-weed relationships and molecular, physiological and agronomic stress responses under salinity is essential to design efficient strategies to achieve weed control under altered climatic and environmental conditions.

Crop-weed interactions in saline environments

R. Masin
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
G. Zanin
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2018

Abstract

Soil salinization is one of the most critical environmental factors affecting crop yield. It is estimated that 20% of cultivated land and 33% of irrigated agricultural land are affected by salinity. In the last decades, considerable effort to manage saline agro-ecosystems has focused on 1) controlling soil salinity to minimize/reduce the accumulation of salts in the root zone and 2) improving plants ability to cope with osmotic and ionic stress. Less attention has been given to other components of the agro-ecosystem including weed populations, which also react and adapt to soil salinization and indirectly affect plant growth and yield. Weeds represent an increasing challenge for crop systems since they have high genetic resilience and adaptation ability to adverse environmental conditions such as soil salinization. In this review, we assess current knowledge on salinity tolerance of weeds in agricultural contexts and discuss critical components of crop-weed interactions that may increase weeds competitiveness under salinity. Compared to crop species, weeds generally exhibit greater salt tolerance due to high intraspecific variability, associated with diverse physiological adaptation mechanisms (e.g. phenotipic plasticity, seed heteromorphism, allelopathy). Weed competitiveness in saline soils may be enhanced by their earlier emergence, faster growth rates and synergies occurring between soil salts and allelochemicals released by weeds. In the future, a better understanding of crop-weed relationships and molecular, physiological and agronomic stress responses under salinity is essential to design efficient strategies to achieve weed control under altered climatic and environmental conditions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3279201
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