The ecology of wild tomato (Solanum triflorum Nutt.) in wheat and lentil production systems
Pastl, Randy George
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Studies were conducted to determine the potential of wild tomato (Solanum triflorum Nutt.) to cause yield and biomass losses in lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), a potential clean-up crop. Wild tomato emergence patterns, survival, seed production and soil seedbank dynamics were also examined. The study sites were located near Delisle, Laird, and Vonda, SK., from the spring of 1991 to mid-summer of 1993. Seed yield of wheat was reduced at one of four sites, and seed yield of lentil was reduced at three of six sites. In general, wild tomato seedlings emerged from early May to mid-July. Peak emergence occurred around 1 June, varied from 2 to 3 weeks among locations. More than 4,000 and 50,000 wild tomato seeds m-2 were produced in wheat and lentil, respectively. Wild tomato seed bank estimates ranged from about 600 seeds m-2 to greater than 40,000 seeds m-2. Approximately 0.5% to 20% of the seed bank emerged throughout the season. Wild tomato can cause severe difficulties during the harvest of lentil crops. Wild tomato seed is spread by harvest equipment during the harvesting of lentil crops. Farm managers should manage wild tomato patches separately from the rest of the field, practice pre-seeding tillage, grow competitive clean-up crops, and encourage Colorado potato beetles which can have a large impact on the duration, competitive ability and seed production of wild tomato plants.