Tropical Grasslands (2000) Volume 34, 271–279

Weed Biology: a foundation for weed management

S.D. CAMPBELL1 and A.C. GRICE2

1Tropical Weeds Research Centre, Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Charters Towers
2CSIRO Tropical Agriculture, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

Abstract

Information on the biology of weeds is an important component in the development of integrated control strategies. While a complete understanding of their ecology would be ideal, obtaining the answers to just some key ecological questions will help substantially. In an attempt to gain a better understanding of a weed problem and its solution, land managers frequently ask questions about the weed's ecology, including: How long do individual plants live?; How long does it take young plants to become reproductive?; How long will it take for the seedbank to be depleted once adult plants are removed from a site?; How and how far is the seed dispersed?; and What is the frequency and scale of seedling recruitment? Controlling weeds is an expensive business. A better understanding of their biology will help improve control techniques and ease the financial burden on land managers.

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