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Rhamphicarpa fistulosa, a widespread facultative hemi-parasitic weed, threatening rice production in Africa

Rhamphicarpa fistulosa, a widespread facultative hemi-parasitic weed, threatening rice production in Africa

Rodenburg, Jonne ORCID: 0000-0001-9059-9253, Morawetz, Jeffery J. and Bastiaans, Lammert (2014) Rhamphicarpa fistulosa, a widespread facultative hemi-parasitic weed, threatening rice production in Africa. Weed Research, 55 (2). pp. 118-131. ISSN 0043-1737 (Print), 1365-3180 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/wre.12129)

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Abstract

Rhamphicarpa fistulosa is a facultative hemi-parasitic plant of the Orobanchaceae family, adapted to wet soils. Apart from tropical Australia, it is only found in sub-Saharan Africa, where it is considered a minor weed in cereal crops such as rice. Due to this status, the species has received only sporadic attention. Recent field observations and encounters with rice farmers in several African countries showed that R. fistulosa is, however, a more serious and increasing production constraint than previously thought. Results from a systematic literature review and a global herbarium study support this. The species has a broad distribution over Africa (at least 35 countries from Madagascar to Senegal and from Sudan to South Africa) and a wide range in altitude (0–2150 m a.s.l.) and environment (waterlogged swamps to moist free-draining uplands). Rhamphicarpa fistulosa is relatively independent and persistent because of the presumably wide host range, the facultative nature of its parasitism and its prolific seed (estimated 100 000 seeds m−2 under moderate infestation levels). Finally, R. fistulosa causes severe yield losses (average 60%) and high regional annual economic losses (estimated US $175 million), while effective control options are scant and awareness of the species among important R&D stakeholders is almost absent. An integrated approach is advocated to assist the rice sector to reduce current R. fistulosa-inflicted losses and to prevent further spread of the species into new areas.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: rice vampire weed, inland valley, rain-fed lowland, parasitic plant, integrated weed management, subsistence farming, sub-Saharan Africa
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Ecosystem Services Research Group
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2019 14:49
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/19040

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