Weed Ecology

Weed Ecology

  • Weed ecology is the study of the interaction or relationship between a weed and its environment (other living organisms as well as abiotic factors).
  • Ecology is concerned with growth characteristics and adaptations that enable weeds to survive the change in the environment.
  • For effective weed control, the study on both biology and ecology of a weed species are important.

The weed seedbank and seed dormancy

  • Not only can weed seed and vegetative tissue travel great distances to infest new fields, but once in the soil, weed seed can remain viable for many years.
  • A study reported that a square foot of soil, 6 inches deep, contained from 98 to 3,068 viable weed seeds. This represents between 4.3 million and 133 million viable seeds per acre.
  • The amount of time that seed is capable of producing a seedling, or its viability, varies with weed species.
  • In the extreme, lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) seeds found in a Manchurian lakebed were viable after 1,000 years.
  • Additionally, many weed seeds remain dormant in the soil until the conditions for germination and survival are appropriate for that particular seed.
  • Dormancy is the seed’s resting stage and is the primary method of weed seed dispersal in time.
  • Seed dormancy is affected by environmental conditions, including temperature, light, oxygen, and the presence of chemical inhibitors.
  • Dormancy is a state of seeds and buds in which they are alive but not germinated. If all weed seeds were to germinate at one time,

their seedlings could be destroyed. Dormancy allows the storage of millions of weed seeds in soil and enables them to grow in flushes over years.


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