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An ecological future for weed science to sustain crop production and the environment. A review

MacLaren, Chloe and Storkey, Jonathan and Menegat, Alexander and Metcalfe, Helen and Dehnen-Schmutz, Katharina (2020). An ecological future for weed science to sustain crop production and the environment. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development. 40 , 24 , 1-29
[Article Review/Survey]

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Abstract

Sustainable strategies for managing weeds are critical to meeting agriculture's potential to feed the world's population while conserving the ecosystems and biodiversity on which we depend. The dominant paradigm of weed management in developed countries is currently founded on the two principal tools of herbicides and tillage to remove weeds. However, evidence of negative environmental impacts from both tools is growing, and herbicide resistance is increasingly prevalent. These challenges emerge from a lack of attention to how weeds interact with and are regulated by the agroecosystem as a whole. Novel technological tools proposed for weed control, such as new herbicides, gene editing, and seed destructors, do not address these systemic challenges and thus are unlikely to provide truly sustainable solutions. Combining multiple tools and techniques in an Integrated Weed Management strategy is a step forward, but many integrated strategies still remain overly reliant on too few tools. In contrast, advances in weed ecology are revealing a wealth of options to manage weedsat the agroecosystem levelthat, rather than aiming to eradicate weeds, act to regulate populations to limit their negative impacts while conserving diversity. Here, we review the current state of knowledge in weed ecology and identify how this can be translated into practical weed management. The major points are the following: (1) the diversity and type of crops, management actions and limiting resources can be manipulated to limit weed competitiveness while promoting weed diversity; (2) in contrast to technological tools, ecological approaches to weed management tend to be synergistic with other agroecosystem functions; and (3) there are many existing practices compatible with this approach that could be integrated into current systems, alongside new options to explore. Overall, this review demonstrates that integrating systems-level ecological thinking into agronomic decision-making offers the best route to achieving sustainable weed management.

Authors/Creators:MacLaren, Chloe and Storkey, Jonathan and Menegat, Alexander and Metcalfe, Helen and Dehnen-Schmutz, Katharina
Title:An ecological future for weed science to sustain crop production and the environment. A review
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:40
Article number:24
Number of Pages:29
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1774-0746
Language:English
Publication Type:Article Review/Survey
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Agricultural Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:Ecological weed management, Sustainability, Agroecosystems, Weed diversity, Weed community, Weed-crop competition
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-107004
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-107004
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1007/s13593-020-00631-6
Web of Science (WoS)000546694600001
ID Code:17351
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Crop Production Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:28 Aug 2020 09:43
Metadata Last Modified:28 Aug 2020 09:43

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