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The objective of this research was to measure injury to leaves of plant species that differ in leaf morphology and to measure injury to plants at different stages of plant development.
The study was conducted in a glasshouse and plants were exposed to steaming at 400 C during 0.36 s equivalent to a steaming speed of 2 km h-1. Overall, leaf thickness was the best morphological characteristic to predict injury (r2 = 0.51), with greater thickness resulting in less injury.
For broadleaf species only, assessment from visual estimates of injury determined that species with wider leaves were injured more than species with narrower leaves (r2 = 0.64). Injury was greatest when plants had fewer than 6 true leaves and when their shoots were less than 10 cm long.
There was a wide range of visual injury across species and the grass species bermudagrass and perennial ryegrass were injured (68 to 81%) more than other species such as common purslane and English daisy (23-34%).
Biomass of all species tested was reduced by approximately 40% indicating that leaf injury was not the sole effect of steaming on plant growth.
These results indicated that considering both visual injury and morphological
characteristics is important to properly assess thermal weed control
© 2012, Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (OACC)