An Alternative View of Plant Competition
by Dr. Clarence Swanton, Plant Agr., University of Guelph
LOCATION: Room 202, Crop Sci
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 25, 2018 @ 10:30 AM
Plant competition is classically thought of in terms of the negative effects which one plant has on another by being more successful at consuming or controlling access to resources such as light water and nutrients. In this seminar, evidence will be presented to show that well before resource limitation occurs, an amazing array of morphological, physiological and molecular changes occur in crop plants growing in the presence of weed seedlings. These changes occur as a result of crop and weeds being able to communicate through changes in light quality signals such as the low red to far-red ratio, R:FR. These recent discoveries suggest that competition for resources is really an outcome and not a primary mechanism. The primary mechanism of plant competition may well be an “energy imbalance” created within plant cells that results in growth inefficiencies which then reduces the plants ability to capture limited resources.
Dr. Swanton obtained his BSc in Botany from the University of Toronto, His MSc in Agrometerology from the University of Guelph, and a PhD in Plant Ecology from the University of Western Ontario. In 1985 he joined the University of Guelph as a faculty member in the Department of Crop Science and later served as the first Chair of the Department of Plant Agriculture. He has won numerous awards for his research and published over 240 journal articles. His research focusses on weed ecology and the development of integrated weed management systems for field and horticultural crops.
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