Weed Biology and Climate Change Weed Biology by H. Ziska and S. Dukes

Bibliographic Information:
Title: Weed Biology and Climate Change Weed Biology
Editor: LEWIS H. ZISKA, Ph.D.
Plant Physiologist
Crop Systems and Global Change Laboratory, USDA
Agricultural Research Service
Building 1, 10300 Baltimore Avenue
Beltsville, MD 20705
Associate Professor
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, and
Department of Biological Sciences
Purdue University, 715 West State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907
Edition: 1st
Publisher: Wiley Blackwell Publishing
Length: 233 pages
Size: 14 MB
Language: English

Ask people for an example of a weed, and you are likely to get a variety of responses.
For most suburban commuters, dandelion, chickweed, or crabgrass and their effect on the
aesthetic quality of their lawn might be a concern. For avid gardeners, mustard, plantain, or
clover might be a consideration. Farmers may worry most about a different group of weeds,
many of which are wild relatives of the crops they grow. For a hiker or backpacker, or an
ecologist, invasive plant species such as cheatgrass or yellow starthistle would top the list.
But there are other weeds that people rarely think about. For example, the allergist works
with pollen outbreaks from unregulated ragweed proliferation. A dermatologist may deal
with contact dermatitis from poison ivy exposure. A pharmacist might study sweet Annie,
a common roadside weed in Virginia for the production of artemesinin, a new antimalarial
drug. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents could study wild poppy production and its
impact on the global supply of Heroin.
People rarely stop to think about the full impact of weeds in human society. Weeds affect
many aspects of our daily lives, from the quantity and quality of the foods we enjoy, to the
medicine we consume, the allergies we encounter, the frequency of fires in some parts of the
world, and even the diversity of species in natural ecosystems.
There are, of course, existing tomes that assess and quantify all of these aspects of weed
biology; the goal of this book is not to duplicate previous efforts. Rather, we attempt to assess
and synthesize recent information regarding the unprecedented increase in atmospheric
carbon dioxide and the associated change in climate, particularly temperature and precipitation,
in regard to basic and applied aspects of weed biology. We examine responses of
weed growth and reproduction as well as weed management, invasive weeds, public health,
ecosystem functioning, and food security.
There is still much to be learned about the responses of weeds to anthropogenic increases
in CO2 and climate change. However, we are now beginning to recognize the scale and
rapid pace of environmental perturbations caused by human society, and the implications of
these changes for weed biology. Given this pace, and the interactive dynamic between weeds
and environmental disturbance, we feel there is a critical need to begin summarizing and
publicizing what is currently known in this field.
We begin with separate overviews of weed biology and climate change, and then discuss
probable responses to climatic change and rising carbon dioxide, from the genome to the
plant community level. We hope to provide a framework for greater insight into the likely
impacts of global change on agronomic weeds, invasive plant species in natural or less
managed plant communities, and the links between weeds and public health.We discuss the
implications of global change with respect to chemical, cultural, biological, and mechanical
weed management as well as some beneficial aspects of weeds. We attempt to highlight
crucial research questions and to highlight adaptation or mitigation strategies that could
reduce potential consequences.
We stress that this is only a beginning.We are seeking new ideas and models that can help
us define, understand, and predict weed biology and likely societal impacts of unparalleled
human-induced climatic uncertainty in the twenty-first century. In doing so, we wish to cast
our academic net not only within the weed science community, but also among a wide swath
of stakeholders, including environmentalists, agronomists, and health care providers.
To that end, we are indebted to Justin Jeffryes and Shelby Allen of Wiley-Blackwell
publishing for their invitation to prepare this book and for their advice and encouragement.
We are also grateful to our own scientific mentors, Hal Mooney at Stanford University, Jim
Ehleringer at the University of Utah, Chris Field at the Carnegie Institution for Science,
Paul Epstein at Harvard, David Patterson at Duke, Jim Bunce at USDA, and Tony Hall at
University of California, Riverside, who have fostered our appreciation of nature’s wonders
and provided a healthy dash of skepticism. We are also indebted to our colleagues who gave
generously of their time in helping put this book together, Jodie Holt, Jil Swearingen, Bethany
Bradley, Dana Blumenthal, Jack Morgan, and Hilda Diaz-Soltero. Finally, we express our
profound gratitude to our families and friends, who, while supporting us, must havewondered
how grown men could be so fascinated with weeds.

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