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Special Weed Problems

  • R. J. Stephens
Chapter
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Abstract

Each kind of weed problem outlined in this chapter is capable of dominating the local economic and social life wherever it occurs. The recent rapid spread and explosive growth of aquatic weeds throughout the wet tropics has produced locally disastrous effects; in the temperate world the harm done by water plants is less dramatic but there has been increased weed growth in polluted water enriched with nutrients. Poisonous plants continue to take a heavy toll of livestock, and man himself may become ill or, less commonly today, actually die, when poisonous plants are eaten inadvertently. In addition, there are plants which although not lethal can in various ways have debilitating effects on man and his animals. Parasitic weeds, once a major concern of farmers in Northern Europe, have largely disappeared since seed cleaning and legislation have reduced the sowing of contaminated crop seed. However, in other areas root and stem parasites can occur on almost every major crop, posing severe local problems. Woody species have been taken by man to new areas, where they have sometimes escaped and now dominate the local vegetation; for example, the attractive shrubby Lantana (Lantana camara), which is a non-weedy native of tropical America, was planted by man in other tropical areas, where its vigorous growth, rapid increase and toxicity to livestock have made it a widespread nuisance.

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Further Reading

  1. HOLM, L, PLUCKNETT, D. L., PANCHO, J. V. and HERBERGER, J. P. (1977). The World’s Worst Weeds, University Press of Hawaii, Honolulu, p. 609Google Scholar
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  4. KINGHORN, A. D. (ed.) (1979). Toxic Plants, Columbia University Press, New York, p. 195Google Scholar
  5. MUSSELMAN, L. J. (1980). The Biology of Striga, Orobanche, and other root-parasite weeds, Ann. Rev. Phytopathol., 18, 463–489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. RUSSELL, G. E. (1978). Resistance to parasitic weeds, in Plant Breeding for Pest and Disease Resistance (ed. G. E. Russell), Butterworths, London, p. 485Google Scholar
  7. SCULTHORPE, C. D. (1967). The Biology of Aquatic Vascular Plants, Edward Arnold, London, p. 610Google Scholar

Copyright information

© R. J. Stephens 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. J. Stephens
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of BathUK

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