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Climate Change and Weeds of Cropping Systems

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Ruttledge, A. and Chauhan, B. S. (2020) Climate Change and Weeds of Cropping Systems. In: Crop Protection Under Changing Climate. Springer International Publishing, Cham. ISBN 978-3-030-46111-9

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-46111-9_3


The impacts of weeds in cropping systems are diverse and costly. Direct expenditure on control and biosecurity measures costs society billions each year. Even with such heavy investment in prevention and control, weeds continue to reduce the quality and quantity of agricultural produce and represent a significant threat to global food production. The challenge of managing weeds in cropping systems is rendered increasingly complex given the diverse and unpredictable impacts of climate change on both weeds and crops. Atmospheric CO2, temperature and precipitation are key drivers of plant growth, and weeds, like all other plant species, will need to respond to climate change in order to survive. Weed species are by their very nature survivors, able to relocate, acclimate or adapt to changing environmental conditions, with genetic diversity that could confer a natural competitive advantage over crop species. Conversely, modern crops are the result of extensive and highly sophisticated breeding to improve their genetic potential to survive in challenging conditions, including herbicide application, limited soil moisture and high temperatures. Moreover, agricultural weeds evolve in highly managed environments, and management intervention through crop selection, crop planting strategies and weed control measures may exert stronger selection pressures on weed species relative to climate change. It is, however, reasonable to assert that evolution driven by management pressures could occur simultaneously to climate-driven adaptation. For this reason, even given the rapid advancement of increasingly sophisticated weed control technology, weed management now and in the future should be guided a sound understanding of evolutionary biology.

Item Type:Book Section
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Plants > Weed ecology
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural meteorology. Crops and climate
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Methods and systems of culture. Cropping systems
Plant pests and diseases > Weeds, parasitic plants etc
Live Archive:22 Sep 2020 04:35
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:46

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