Submitted to: Crop Protection Council British Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 12, 2001
Publication Date: December 1, 2001
Citation: Bunce, J.A. 2001. Weeds in a changing climate [abstract]. Crop Protection Council British Proceedings. 77:109
Of the several aspects of global environmental change, some, such as an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, are almost certain to continue and would have a large impact on weed biology, while others, such as increased nitrogen deposition, are not likely to affect weeds in agronomic situations. It is important to identify changing environmental factors and plant responses to them which are likely to affect the impact of weeds on crops, in order to modify management strategies accordingly. This paper reviews several ways in which weeds are pre-adapted to benefit greatly from increases in temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide, and reviews the few recent field studies of weed-crop interactions under global change conditions, which often indicate the potential of larger crop losses due to weeds. Data is presented which indicates that weeds may be adapted to the current atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide and may also evolve more rapidly than crops to take advantage of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide. This suggests that current experiments may underestimate the impact of global change factors on crop losses due to weeds.