Weed ecology

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  • Our goal in writing this book was to describe why weeds occur where they do. We have made no attempt to discuss their management and control: there are excellent texts available for that. Rather, we think that students should understand how and why weeds fit into their environment. This text presents ecological principles as they relate to weeds. Ecology is central to our understanding of how and why weeds invade and yet there are few books that make this connection. That is the niche we hope to fill.

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  • The scope of this book is to demonstrate that we do have an ecosystem theory that can be used to describe ecosystem structure and function. It was previously shown in the book, Integration of Ecosystem Theories: A Pattern (3rd edition, 2002), that the various contributions to systems ecology are consistent and together form a pattern of ecological processes. My book with Yuri Svirezhev, Toward a Thermodynamic Theory of Ecosystems (2004), presented the thermodynamics of this pattern in a mathematical language....

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  • This book, now in its third edition, began almost 25 years ago when Weed Ecology: Implications for Vegetation Management was published in 1984. That text concentrated on the need for farmers, foresters, rangeland managers, and the researchers who advised them to understand better the biology of weeds and the role people play in creating and maintaining weeds in agriculture and other production systems. We were assisted in that first effort by the writings of many early scientists, such as J. L. Harper, H. G. Baker, and E. J.

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  • Of the many books that have been written about weed management, most have focused on the use of herbicides. This volume is different. Instead of providing information about chemical weed control technologies, the emphasis here is on weed management procedures that rely on manipulations of ecological conditions and relationships. By focusing on ecologically based methods of management, we have been able to provide in-depth treatment of subjects that most weed science books treat only briefly.

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  • Biological invasions are one of the major threats to our native biodiversity. The magnitude of biodiversity losses, land degradation and productivity losses of managed and natural ecosystems due to invasive species is enormous. It has an adverse impact on our efforts to maintain biodiversity and on our conservation programs, and thus could create societal instability.

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