Submitted to: Weed Ecology and Management
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: September 15, 2002
Publication Date: January 1, 2004
Citation: Ziska, L.H. 2004. Rising carbon dioxide and weed ecology. Weed Ecology and Management. pp. 159-176
Documented and projected changes in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide [CO2] and other gases suggest potential changes in climate stability which could negatively impact human systems. One such system would involve negative impacts on agricultural crops and associated weeds. Climatic outcomes regarding crops and weed/crop interactions have been addressed in several seminal reviews; however, there are few data which focus only on the direct effects of rising CO2. In this invited chapter, I integrate existing literature and my own studies to examine: (1) The response of individual weedy species in three categories (agronomic, invasive and public health) to rising CO2; (2) The impact of rising CO2 on weed/crop competition in agronomic situations; and, (3) the probable change of rising CO2 on weed management. Overall, our current understanding regarding the impact of rising CO2 with respect to weed establishment, growth, reproduction and competition is limited. Yet, the environmental and economic costs of not understanding these impacts, and the appropriate control measures, may be substantial. To that end, it is hoped that this review will serve as a guide for interested researchers in assessing the importance of past and current increases in atmospheric CO2 to weed biology; and will serve to elucidate key areas where additional information is needed.