An Ecological Study on Red Sorrel (Rumex acetosella L.) in Wild Blueberry Fields in Nova Scotia
Hughes, Angela D.
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Red sorrel is a perennial weed in wild blueberry fields that decreases yield. Multiple experiments were conducted to evaluate its impact on blueberry pollination, Botrytis blight incidence, and berry yield. Kerb applications did not significantly impact blueberry stem or floral bud formation. Removal of red sorrel with Kerb increased blueberry yield at both sites. However a double application had no difference than one application. Blueberry and red sorrel flowering overlapped and red sorrel pollen grains were found on blueberry flowers in both years at all sites. Red sorrel pollen grains increased the incidence of germinating spores in Petri dishes and this relationship was adequately modeled with a three parameter, exponential rise to a maximum. Red sorrel pollen significantly increased disease incidence on immature blueberry flowers. Honey bees foraged from blueberry and red sorrel flowers, but there was no evidence to suggest that they favored red sorrel flowers over blueberry flowers.