The 28th APWSS Conference to be held at Phuket, Thailand during 26 to 29 November 2023           |           Weeds-Journal of the APWSS Vol. 4, Issue 2, 2022

Volume-3 | Issue-2 (July-December) | Year 2021

Weeds and Biodiversity: Some Reflections
Nimal R. Chandrasena

KEYWORDS:

: Biodiversity, colonizing species, beneficial weeds, middle-way path, weed management

Abstract:

With or without humans colonizing species will always be present on earth and continue to play vital roles in stabilizing the earth's ecosystems damaged by the teeming humanity. Therefore, humans need to 'live with weeds' and utilize their colonizing power for beneficial uses. If people well understand the valuable ecological roles and biodiversity values of colonizing species, it will influence the decisionmakers and help them develop better policies towards colonizing taxa. Agro-ecology helps us to appreciate the critical roles of colonizing taxa in Nature. Concepts such as 'beneficial weeds' and "middle-way path" to weed management allow us to re-think how we may engage in agriculture more sustainably. A change in thinking is required in Weed Science to recognize weeds, not as a production constraint in agriculture and a threat to farming, all the time. As colonizing species, they are significant bioresource assets. Where the abundance of weeds, at particular times and locations, present problems for other essential and valued human endeavours (such as food production) or natural ecosystems, they need to be appropriately managed. People have done this for millennia. The tools and techniques to do so, to the extent required, are well developed within Weed Science – a formidable discipline. An improved relationship with weeds will develop if they are understood as nothing but colonizing and pioneering taxa, which are adapted to respond to disturbances. Much like humans, they are just opportunistic species. Weeds are no more villainous than humans. The farmland biodiversity discourses, especially in Europe and the U.K., have awakened research communities to explore a more tolerant attitude towards beneficial weeds. Weedy species contribute pollination benefits for bees and food for other insects. Various fauna use them as food and shelter resources. Colonizing species also play critical roles in mitigating soil erosion, water retention, nutrient cycling and replenishment, improving soil health. Weedy congeners (relatives) also promote the evolutionary diversification and genes for hybridization with their crop relatives. Such positive contributions offset, at least partially, the losses to biodiversity that people allege weedy species cause. Biodiversity is too important for society to misunderstand it. Biodiversity is critically important for a healthy planet. Human survival on Planet Earth depends on properly interacting with biodiversity. This includes appreciating the crucial roles colonizing species play

Email

nimal.chandrasena@gmail.com

Address

Current Address: Nature Consulting, 17, Billings Way, Winthrop, WA 6150, Australia
ETHICS IN AGRICULTURE: WHERE ARE WE AND WHERE SHOULD WE BE GOING?
Robert L. Zimdahl and Thomas Holtzer

KEYWORDS:

: Agriculture, classes, ethics, food system, survey, values

Abstract:

Agriculture’s dominant focus is feeding the human population. From an ethical perspective, this is clearly very positive. Still, it does not absolve agriculture from critical and ethical examination of the totality of agriculture’s effects. To earn the public’s ongoing support, agriculture must begin regularly examine its full range of effects and be sure they align with the highest ethical values. Agriculture’s productive record is enviable in the science and technology associated with its primary ethical concern, but we need to do more to address the broader ethical issues that are the public’s increasing concern. The entire agricultural community needs to become engaged in the discussion. The classroom offers an effective starting place, but curricular offerings (focusing on ethical principles, agricultural applications, and expectations of agricultural professionals) are rarely available at public universities. Ethics study should become a key component of agricultural education.

Email

r.zimdahl@colostate.edu

Address

Professors Emeriti, Department of Agricultural Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Climate Change: Confronting Invasive Species - Where to from here?
Florentine Singarayer, Talia Humphries, Amali Welgama, Jason Roberts

KEYWORDS:

Climate change; Weed science; Weeds; Invasive species; Crops; Weed management

Abstract:

For the last two decades or so, concerned workers have been investigating the effects of climate change on invasive species and related agronomic issues. As researchers working in this space, we emphasize the importance for current research findings to be translated into practical, real-world management strategies that can be actioned by the end-users. This opinion article is offered as a contribution to this area. It attempts to illustrate the general direction and intensity that research work has taken concerning climate change and its relationship to the problem of invasive species. In addition, we discuss the likely nature of future research in this field. To provide a balanced overview of this activity, we consulted six key scientific Journals, which have consistently offered core articles related to this question. Although we recognized that a considerable amount of laboratory work and field-based research is taking place across the globe on climate change and invasive species, we have settled on 113 articles, which are directly relevant to this discussion. We note that North American researchers have published most papers in this space since 1979. Several studies have indicated that under anticipated climate change conditions, many invasive species are more likely to grow faster and more extensive than agriculturally important crops, and their reproductive outputs may also significantly increase. If this finding reflects the general case for agronomic weeds of particular concern, then it is clear that extra caution will need to be taken with management strategies. Developmental work and an increased range of stakeholders will be required to reduce the burgeoning impacts of these species on economic, agricultural production. We encourage researchers to communicate more widely on the outcomes of their work and promote more collegiate engagement with the researchers in other parts of the world to share their knowledge and insights into efficient and effective management approaches.

Email

s.florentine@federation.edu.au

Address

School of Science, Psychology and Sports, Federation University, Mt Helen Campus
Direct-Seeded Rice (DSR) in India: New opportunities for Rice Production and Weed management in postCOVID-19 pandemic period
N. T. Yaduraju, A. N. Rao, M. S. Bhullar, J. S. Gill and R. K. Malik

KEYWORDS:

Rice, Direct-seeded rice, Labor migration, COVID-19, Weed management

Abstract:

In India, rice is predominantly grown as puddled transplanted rice (PTR) under irrigated or assured rainfall conditions. The share of groundwater in net irrigated area, as compared to the area under surface irrigation, is more than 60% at present. The over-exploitation of groundwater through the explosion of tube wells has raised sustainability issues. India's Central Groundwater Board has warned of critically low groundwater availability by 2025. Rice cultivation under PTR is labour and energy-intensive. The rising costs of labour and energy in India is making PTR less profitable. PTR is also not very environment-friendly due to its relatively higher methane emissions. Due to the above concerns, the shift of rice cultivation to direct-seeding (DSR) has been well researched and developed in India. The technology has also been actively promoted and disseminated for farmers to adopt across many Indian states. The advantages of the DSR system can be obtained only by alleviating the significant constraints, including weed problems and issues related to crop nutrition. The research carried out at different agro-ecological conditions in India has amply proved that the adoption of improved DSR technologies results in several advantages over PTR. The benefits include savings in labour (40–45%), water (30– 40%), fuel/energy (60–70%), and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. In this paper, we briefly discuss the historical aspects of DSR in India, the advantages of DSR, the reasons for inadequate adoption of DSR during the pre-pandemic period, the farmers' adoption of DSR during the pandemic making the crisis an opportunity. We also discuss the potential and research/extension needs for further upscaling DSR in India during the post-pandemic period.

Email

nyaduraju@gmail.com

Address

Director (Retired), ICAR-Directorate of Weed Research (DWR), Mysore-570020, India
Weeds and Weed Seeds of South-East Asia With Special Focus on Thailand
Hirohiko Morita

KEYWORDS:

Thailand, Weed Seeds, Weed Science, Weeds, Asia-Pacific

Abstract:

A superior book for Weed Science in the tropics entitled “Weeds & Weed Seeds of Southeast Asia With Special Focus on Thailand (A5, 280 pages, ISBN 978-967-18186-0-2)” was published by Dr. Siriporn Zungsontiporn, a weed scientist in Thailand.

Email

Address