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Parthenium Weed: Biology, Ecology and Management. CABI Invasives Series 11

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This book explores the most important aspects of the biology, ecology and management of what is one of the world's worst weeds. Originally regarded as a major weed in Australia and India, Parthenium weed is now widespread in around 48 countries in Africa, Asia and the South Pacific, and has the potential to spread to new countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. This book, which is a collective effort by 27 members of the International Parthenium Weed Network, addresses research and knowledge gaps for different countries. It examines the weed's mode of spread, its impact on agricultural production, its effect on the environment and on human health, and its management using biological control, as well as cultural, physical and chemical approaches. It also considers the coordination of the weed's management, possible uses for Parthenium weed, its present distribution and how this is impacted by climate change. This book will be of interest to graduate students and researchers in universities and institutes, in the fields of plant ecology, botany, agriculture, conservation and restoration ecology.

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1 An Introduction to the ‘Demon Plant’ Parthenium Weed

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1

An Introduction to the ‘Demon

Plant’ Parthenium Weed

Steve W. Adkins,1* Asad Shabbir2 and

Kunjithapatham Dhileepan3

1The

University of Queensland, Gatton, Queensland, Australia; of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan; current affiliation

The University of Sydney, Narrabri, New South Wales, Australia;

3Biosecurity Queensland, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries,

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

2University

1.1  Introduction

In this book we ask the question, in parthenium weed do we have the ‘worst weed the world has ever encountered’? The conclusion we have reached is, if not yet, then we soon will have! As this phenomenal ‘demon plant’ spreads around the world at a remarkable rate, causing such devastating outcomes to all aspects of agriculture, horticulture, forestry and the natural environment, as well as being a significant health concern, it is coming under unparalleled scientific and public scrutiny.

Parthenium Weed: Biology, Ecology and

 

2 Biology and Ecology

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2

Biology and Ecology

Steve W. Adkins,1* Alec McClay2 and

Ali Ahsan Bajwa1

1The

University of Queensland, Gatton, Queensland, Australia;

Ecoscience, Alberta, Canada

2McClay

2.1  Introduction

Parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus

L.) is now recognized as a major invasive weed worldwide. Yet back in the 1950s, when it first came to the attention of land managers in Australia, it was a virtually unknown plant. International focus wasn’t drawn to its weed potential until the mid1970s, after reports of dense infestations forming in central India associated with increasing health problems, and its rapid spread in Australia. Understanding the biology and ecology of this unique weed is essential for determining its impact in the natural and agricultural environment, and also in helping design new and improved, cost-­effective management strategies. This chapter provides details of the biology,

­ecology and origins of this weed and a discussion of why this plant has become such a successful invader of many new landscapes in over 40 countries around the world.

 

3 Spread

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3

Spread

Asad Shabbir,1* Andrew McConnachie2 and

Steve W. Adkins3

1University

of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan; current affiliation Plant

Breeding Institute, the University of Sydney, Narrabri, New South

Wales, Australia; 2Department of Primary Industries, Biosecurity and Food Safety, Orange, New South Wales, Australia; 3The

University of Queensland, Gatton, Queensland, Australia

3.1  Origin and Native Distribution

Parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus

L.) is an annual herb of Neotropical origin that has developed a pantropical distribution (Evans, 1997). The weed is thought to  be native to the tropical and sub­ tropical Americas, possibly around the Gulf

of Mexico, including the southern USA and  the Caribbean islands, or possibly in northern Argentina and southern Brazil

­

(Dale, 1981). Parthenium weed is a highly invasive species and is now found in 92 countries around the globe, of which only 44 are possibly in its native range (Fig. 3.1;

 

4 Interference and Impact of Parthenium Weed on Agriculture

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Interference and Impact of

Parthenium Weed on Agriculture

Ali Ahsan Bajwa,1* Asad Shabbir2 and

Steve W. Adkins1

1The

University of Queensland, Gatton, Queensland, Australia; of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan; current affiliation Plant

Breeding Institute, the University of Sydney, Narrabri, New South

Wales, Australia

2University

4.1  Introduction

Parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus

L.) has rapidly become one of the most

­damaging invasive weed species present in natural systems and agroecosystems (Bajwa et al., 2016). It affects environmental stability by disturbing natural floral diversity and species distribution within rangelands, forests and fallow lands. In addition, it also infests a large number of crops across a diverse range of cropping systems around the world. Its environmental and health impacts, including those on the displacement of native species, on the promotion of land degradation, and on human and animal health are well known and are of great concern for communities in many countries

 

5 Impacts on the Environment

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5

Impacts on the Environment

Arne Witt1* and Amalia Belgeri2

1CABI,

Nairobi, Kenya; 2AGROTERRA S.A., Montevideo, Uruguay

5.1  Introduction

Invasive species can alter the production, maintenance and quality of ecosystem services (Levine et al., 2003; Brooks et al., 2004;

Kimbro et  al., 2009), which are broadly defined as the benefits provided to people by natural ecosystems and include provisioning, regulating, cultural and supporting services (MEA, 2005). Invasive plant species change community structure and function through exploitation (resource use) and interference (competition for resources and possibly allelopathy). According to Vilà et al.

(2010), invasive plants decrease species diversity and abundance by c.51% and c.44%, respectively, also reducing fitness and growth of native plant species by c.42% and 22%, respectively. By reducing native species diversity, abundance, fitness and distribution and by altering community structure, alien invasive plant species have a significant impact on ecosystem services

 

6 Impact of Parthenium Weed on Human and Animal Health

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Impact of Parthenium Weed on

Human and Animal Health

Sally Allan,1* Boyang Shi2 and Steve W. Adkins1

1University

of Queensland, Gatton, Queensland, Australia;

Queensland, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries,

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

2Biosecurity

6.1  Introduction

6.1.1  Issues and causes

The annual, herbaceous plant parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus L.) is a weed of global significance (Towers et  al., 1977;

Dhileepan, 2009; Adkins and Shabbir, 2014).

Originating from southern North America,

Central America including the Gulf Coast, the West Indies and Caribbean Islands, and

South America (Rollins, 1950, in Picman and Towers, 1982; Wedner et  al., 1989), parthenium weed has spread from its native range to over 40 tropical and subtropical countries around the world (Shabbir, 2012;

Adkins and Shabbir, 2014; EPPO, 2014). The spread of parthenium weed has produced negative impacts on grazing animal production (Jayachandra, 1971; Chippendale and

 

7 Biological Control

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7

Biological Control

Kunjithapatham Dhileepan,1* Rachel McFadyen,2

Lorraine Strathie3 and Naeem Khan4

1Biosecurity

Queensland, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries,

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; 2PO Box 88, Mt Ommaney,

Queensland, Australia;3Agricultural Research Council – Plant

Health and Protection, Hilton, South Africa; 4Department of Weed

Sciences, University of Agriculture, Peshawar, Pakistan

7.1  Introduction

7.2  Classical Biological Control

Management options for parthenium weed

(Parthenium hysterophorus L.) include chemical, physical, grazing management and biological methods (Dhileepan, 2009). Chemical control is often the first line of defence, but high costs of herbicides preclude their long-­ term use for parthenium weed management in grazing areas, public and uncultivated areas, forests and woodlands. Physical methods such as grading, slashing and ploughing can provide some relief over the short term, but they may exacerbate the associated health risk due to exposure and are not effective in long-­ term management. Management of parthenium weed can be achieved by maintaining sufficient levels of grass cover to maximize competition against the weed. However, biological control is regarded as the most effective and economic method for parthenium weed in many situations.

 

8 Management: Physical, Cultural, Chemical

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8

Management: Physical, Cultural,

Chemical

Shane D. Campbell,1,2* Wayne D. Vogler1 and

Tamado Tana3

1Biosecurity

Queensland, Tropical Weeds Research Centre,

Charters Towers, Queensland, Australia; 2Current affiliation the

University of Queensland, Gatton, Australia; 3College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Haramaya University, Ethiopia

8.1  Introduction

There are many different options available to manage problematic weeds, with research continually advancing new technologies and products to enable development of more cost-­effective and environmentally sustainable strategies. This applies to parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus L.), which has been and continues to be the focus of a significant research effort aimed at improving management options within affected countries.

Although parthenium weed is a relatively easy plant to kill, its biology/ecology, widespread distribution in many areas and ability to grow in a diverse range of habitats/ situations (e.g. wastelands, cleared land, pastures, crops, roadsides, along streams and rivers) (Navie et al., 1996, 1998a; Gnanavel, 2013) makes it a difficult plant to eliminate.

 

9 Coordination of Management

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Coordination of Management

Asad Shabbir,1* Sushilkumar,2 Ian A. W. Macdonald3 and Colette Terblanche4

1University

of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan; current affiliation Plant

Breeding Institute, the University of Sydney, Narrabri, New South

Wales, Australia; 2ICAR, Directorate of Weed Research Adhartal,

Jabalpur, India; 3International Environmental Consultant, KwaZuluNatal, South Africa; 4Colterra Environmental Consultants, KwaZuluNatal, South Africa

9.1  Introduction

Throughout the world, except in a very few extreme environments, the challenge posed by invasive alien organisms far exceeds the capacity to manage them. Unfortunately, all the indications are that the problem is increasing and is likely to continue to do so for the foreseeable future, given current trends. Under such a scenario it is crucially important that the effectiveness of management is maximized. In this chapter, the important role that coordination can play in managing one of the world’s most invasive and harmful alien plant species, parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus L.), is addressed.

 

10 Parthenium Weed: Uses and Abuses

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Parthenium Weed: Uses and

Abuses

Nimal Chandrasena1* and Adusumilli Narayana

Rao2

1GHD

Water Sciences, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia;

Hyderabad, India

2ICRISAT,

10.1  Introduction

Parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus

L.), a plant of the Asteraceae family, has long been recognized as a weed of global significance (Aneja et al., 1991; Towers and Subba

Rao, 1992; Evans, 1997; Pandey et al., 2003).

It is an annual herb, native to the area around the Gulf of Mexico, including the

Caribbean islands and central South America. After introductions and spread in other regions, parthenium weed now has a pantropical distribution. It normally grows fast, producing an adult plant, about 1.5 m in height, which produces flowers early, and sets a large number of seeds in its lifetime

(Adkins and Shabbir, 2014). The weed can also grow under wide ecological conditions

– from sea level up to 3000 m (K. Dhileepan,

 

11 History and Management – Australia and Pacific

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11

History and Management –

Australia and Pacific

Rachel McFadyen,1* Kunjithapatham Dhileepan2 and Michael Day2

1PO

Box 88, Mt Ommaney, Queensland, Australia; 2Biosecurity

Queensland, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Brisbane,

Queensland, Australia

11.1  Introduction

11.2  History

Parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus

L.) is now recognized as a major invasive weed worldwide. Yet in the 1950s, when it was first discovered in Australia, it was an almost unknown plant. International research on parthenium weed did not start until the 1970s, after reports of increasing health problems caused by the dense infestations in central India (Chandras and

­Vartak, 1970). Australian policy makers in

1973−1975 were therefore working in an

­information vacuum when trying to manage this new weed, which was rapidly spreading south from the northern cattle zone.

Their response was to establish one of the largest long-­ term and well-­ funded weed management programmes ever seen against a single weed, and the outcome has been startlingly successful, with parthenium weed ceasing to be one of the top ten weeds of both cropping and grazing lands in the affected zone. This chapter outlines the history and background of parthenium in Australia and the management tools used to produce this success.

 

12 History and Management – Southern Asia

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12

History and Management –

Southern Asia

Asad Shabbir,1* Bharat B. Shrestha,2 Muhammad

H. Ali3 and Steve W. Adkins4

1University

of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan; current affiliation

Plant Breeding Institute, the University of Sydney, Narrabri, New

South Wales, Australia; 2Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal;

3First Capital University of Bangladesh, Chuadanga, Bangladesh;

4The University of Queensland, Gatton, Queensland, Australia

12.1  History of Invasion and Spread in Southern Asia

In Southern Asia, parthenium weed is now present in most countries, including India

(Yaduraju et  al., 2005), Pakistan (­Shabbir and Bajwa, 2006), Sri Lanka (­

Jayasuriya,

1999), Nepal (Shrestha et al., 2015), Bangladesh (Karim, 2009) and Bhutan (Biswas and

Das, 2007). Although there are no confirmed reports of its presence in Afghanistan or

Maldives, it is highly likely that it is present in Afghanistan. Khan et  al. (2014) has reported anecdotal evidence that the weed may be present in the southern parts of

 

13 History and Management – East and South-east Asia

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History and Management in East and South-­east Asia

Boyang Shi,1* Saichun Tang,2 Nguyen Thi Lan Thi3 and Kunjithapatham Dhileepan1

1Biosecurity

Queensland, Department of Agriculture and

Fisheries, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; 2Guangxi Institute of

Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guilin, China; 3University of Sciences, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

13.1  History of Parthenium Weed in

East and South-­east Asia

Parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus

L.) has become a dominant weed in a number of regions around the world, especially within eastern and southern Africa, Australia and the Pacific, and East, South and

South-­east Asia (Mainali et  al., 2015). In countries that have been badly infested, many natural ecosystems have also come under threat from its presence and persistence (Bajwa et al., 2016). This weed has serious adverse impacts upon the biodiversity of natural communities, the productivity of rangelands and cropping systems as well as human and animal health (Chippendale and

 

14 History and Management – Southern Africa and Western Indian Ocean Islands

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History and Management –

Southern Africa and Western

Indian Ocean Islands

Lorraine W. Strathie1* and Andrew J.

McConnachie2

1Agricultural

Research Council – Plant Health and Protection,

Hilton, South Africa; 2Department of Primary Industries,

Biosecurity and Food Safety, Orange, New South Wales, Australia

14.1  Introduction

along many of the national road networks that link South Africa, Swaziland and

In Africa, parthenium weed (Parthenium hys- Mozambique, as well as at or near country terophorus L.) is present in Egypt in North border posts, increasing the risk of dispersal

Africa and in the East African countries of to new countries. The probability of invasion

Somalia, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, increases with time as infestations continue

Eritrea and Ethiopia (McConnachie and to expand.

Dense parthenium weed infestations

Witt, Chapter 15, this volume). In Southern

Africa, parthenium weed has invaded South occur in subsistence (Fig. 14.1A) and comAfrica, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, mercial (Fig. 14.1B) agricultural production

 

15 History and Management – East and North Africa, and the Middle East

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History and Management – East and North Africa, and the Middle

East

Andrew McConnachie1* and Arne Witt2

1Department

of Primary Industries, Biosecurity and Food Safety,

Orange, New South Wales, Australia; 2CABI Africa, Nairobi,

Kenya

15.1  Introduction

Richardson, 2006; Catford et  al., 2009).

According to Catford et al. (2009), invasion

While attention was being drawn to the is essentially a function of propagule presexplosion of parthenium weed (Parthenium sure from the invading species, the abiotic hysterophorus L.) in India and Australia dur- characteristics of the invaded ecosystem and ing the 1970s, East and North Africa and the the characteristics of the recipient commuMiddle East were in the early stages of being nity. Parthenium weed possesses many of exposed to this weed. Affecting areas where the traits associated with successful invadcommunities were largely dependent on ers, but its distribution is limited by the subsistence farming and pastoralism, and characteristics of the invaded ecosystem. containing important conservation areas, Parthenium weed achieves optimal growth, parthenium weed was set to become a major reproduction and spread within a defined set issue throughout the region, affecting liveli- of eco-­climatic requirements (­McConnachie hoods and biodiversity. Forty-­five years later et  al., 2011; Kriticos et  al., 2015; Mainali and parthenium weed is now a well-­ et  al., 2015; Shabbir et  al., Chapter 3, this established invader in many parts of East volume), with soil moisture and type being

 

16 Conclusions

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Conclusions

Steve W. Adkins,1* Asad Shabbir2 and

Kunjithapatham Dhileepan3

1The

University of Queensland, Gatton, Queensland, Australia; of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan; current affiliation the University of Sydney, Narrabri, New South Wales, Australia;

3Biosecurity Queensland, Department of Agriculture and

Fisheries, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

2University

16.1  Introduction

it is a plant for which they should find a use and not manage.

Throughout this book we have analysed

We are currently going through a period of significant global environmental change, the the available information on the biology and so-­called Anthropocene. The interconnected ecology of the weed, both in its native and concerns of climate change, habitat and bio- introduced ranges. We have examined the diversity loss, and the anthropological influ- modes of spread and the weed’s impact on ences steering these changes, are familiar to agricultural production, the environment most. However, one major mediator of envi- and human health, and its potential uses. ronmental change, invasive species, lingers We have looked at the various forms of manunseen in most considerations of this global agement adopted in different parts of the environmental change. Invasive species are world and their effectiveness. The following being dispersed around the globe at an ever-­ discussion reiterates the main findings preincreasing rate, largely unobstructed and sented and we conceptualize why this plant with their movement expedited by human has become such a ‘superior weed’, worthy of ranking in the top-­five weeds worldwide, activities.

 

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