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Eco-biology, impact, and management of Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers.

Abstract

Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers. is ranked among the worst and extensively disseminated weed species. It is emerging as a potential menace for agroecosystems in 53 different countries across the world. This weed is adapted to warmer regions and is native to Mediterranean areas of Africa, Asia, and Europe. In the mid-1900s, cultivation of this weed species as a potential forage crop resulted in its escape from crop fields and invasion of agricultural and natural areas, but in some European countries, it has been introduced deliberately (e.g., as contamination of seeds and soil). S. halepense interferes with economically important agronomic and horticultural crops and cause 57–88% yield losses. Herbicide tolerance, diverse propagation mechanisms, rapid development, and strong competitiveness are key attributes in its invasion. Conventional management approaches are limited in their scope to control this weed due to its rapid vegetative growth and increasing herbicidal tolerance. Integration of chemical methods with cultural or mechanical approaches is important for restricting its future spread to non-infested areas. This review provides insights into the invasion mechanisms of S. halepense, which will help in its management. A better understanding of ecobiological aspects, survival mechanisms, and genetic variabilities of S. halepense, within a wide range of environmental conditions, will assist in designing more effective management strategies for this serious invasive weed. Collaborative research between the various countries impacted by this weed will assist in developing efficient, sustainable, and economical approaches to restrict its invasion in new areas.

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Correspondence to Arslan Masood Peerzada.

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Peerzada, A.M., Ali, H.H., Hanif, Z. et al. Eco-biology, impact, and management of Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers.. Biol Invasions (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-017-1410-8

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Keywords

  • Johnson grass
  • Impact
  • Competition
  • Allelopathy
  • Weed management