Floristic and Phytosociology of Weeds in Upland Rice in the Humid Tropics
ABSTRACT: Knowledge of the floristic composition and vegetation structure are essential conditions for development of more efficient and economic weed management strategies in crops in the humid tropics. The objective of the research was to carry on floristic and phytosociological surveys to know the main weeds in upland rice fields in the humid tropics of the Brazilian State of Maranhão. Weed samples were done by means of an open metal rectangle of 0.15 m2 thrown at random in the vegetative and reproductive stages of rice crop in 2009/10 and 2010/2011 harvest. A total of 65 species from 23 families was identified 35 (53.85%) from the eudicotyledons botanical group, 29 (44.06%) from the monocotyledonous and one (1.53%) belonged to the pteridophytes. The most representative families were from the monocotyledonous botanical group including Poaceae and Cyperaceae, followed by Amaranthaceae and Malvaceae, both from the eudicotyledons group. The weed species with higher importance values in the upland rice crop vegetative stage were Urochloasp., Panicumsp., C. flavus, C. benghalensis and C. argutus whereas in the reproductive stage the higher importance values were recorded for S. latifolia, C. argutus, L. octovalvis, A.tenella and P.maximum. The most important weeds in the crop vegetative phase were mainly from the monocotyledonous group, while in reproductive one they were the eudicotyledons. Weed diversity was high and the floristic similarity was lower in the vegetative one compared to the reproductive stage of upland rice cultivation in the humid tropics.