Aspects of the population: dynamics of Striga hermonthica (Del.) Benth. on pearl millet (Pennisetum americanum (L.) K. Schum.) were studied in Sahelian Mali. Seasonal development was recorded and density-dependent mortality and fecundity in post-emergent populations investigated. An attempt was also made to assess yield loss due to S. hermonthica attack using a regression approach. The first S. hermonthica plants emerged 42 days after crop germination, and the minimum time to complete the life cycle from emergence was 56 days. Results indicated a premature mortality of 66% in emerged populations. The growth stage reached by the time of host plant death appeared to be important in determining survival to maturity, premature mortality being greatest in plants that had not reached flowering by this time. The potential seed output per plant was estimated at 10 985. There was no evidence that the fecundity of S. hermonthica was affected by the density of emerged populations. Regression models showed a significant relationship between millet yield and emerged S. hermonthica density. The results suggest that lower densities give a relatively larger decrease in yield per S. hermonthica plant. The results of the study are discussed in relation to their implications for control.
Webb, M.; Smith, M.C. Biology of Striga hermonthica (Scrophulariaceae) in Sahelian Mali: effects on pearl millet yield and prospects of control. Weed Research (1996) 36 (3) 203-211. [DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3180.1996.tb01650.x]