Journal of Pest Science

, Volume 86, Issue 3, pp 621–631 | Cite as

Relating Ambrosia artemisiifolia and other weeds to the management of Hungarian sunflower crops

  • Gyula Pinke
  • Péter Karácsony
  • Zoltán Botta-Dukát
  • Bálint Czúcz
Original Paper


The weed control of sunflower is a great challenge for farmers throughout the World. In Hungary, one of the greatest concerns is the pernicious weed Ambrosia artemisiifolia, which produces allergenic pollen. The main goal of this study was to identify cultural, weed-management and environmental factors determining weed species composition and the abundance of A. artemisiifolia in sunflower fields. Altogether 49 sunflower fields across Hungary were surveyed for their weed flora, and 30 environmental, cultural and weed-management factors were measured. Using a minimal adequate model containing 14 terms, 38 % of the total variation in species data could be explained. Soil Mg and Ca content, preceding crop, temperature, and field size had significant effects on species composition. Most of the herbicides were effective against annual grass species, but no herbicide was universally effective against broad-leaved weeds. Almost all types of weeds were efficiently reduced with mechanical weed control. A relatively high share of the explanatory variables were environmental factors, suggesting that the success of weed management in sunflower fields strongly depends on a complex of edaphic and climatic constraints. The abundance of Ambrosia artemisiifolia was positively correlated with high soil Ca content, lower temperature, the preceding crop being a cereal, and smaller field sizes; while considering herbicides it seemed to be most sensitive to fluorchloridon and propisochlor application. To reduce noxious broad-leaved weed species could require specific herbicide mixtures, and mechanical weed control should also be integrated into weed management.


Agroecology Common ragweed Environment Helianthus annuus Herbicide Redundancy analysis Soil Weed flora Weed control 



This work was supported by projects FVM 12.932/1/2009 and TÁMOP 4.2.1/B-09/1/KONV-2010-0006. The work of Bálint Czúcz was supported by the János Bolyai Research fellowship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. We thank Richard Gunton and two other reviewers for their valuable comments and for revising our English.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gyula Pinke
    • 1
  • Péter Karácsony
    • 1
  • Zoltán Botta-Dukát
    • 2
  • Bálint Czúcz
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Agricultural and Food SciencesUniversity of West HungaryMosonmagyaróvárHungary
  2. 2.Institute of Ecology and BotanyMTA Centre for Ecological ResearchVácrátótHungary

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