Trait-based approaches to unravelling the assembly of weed communities and their impact on agro-ecosystem functioning
Article first published online: 16 AUG 2012
© 2012 The Author. Weed Research © 2012 European Weed Research Society
Volume 52, Issue 6, pages 479–488, December 2012
How to Cite
NAVAS, M.-L. (2012), Trait-based approaches to unravelling the assembly of weed communities and their impact on agro-ecosystem functioning. Weed Research, 52: 479–488. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3180.2012.00941.x
- Issue published online: 25 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 16 AUG 2012
- Received 21 December 2011 Revised version accepted 28 June 2012 Subject Editor: Jonathan Storkey, Rothamsted Research, UK
- community structure;
- ecosystem processes;
- functional structure;
- plant functional trait
Navas M-L (2012). Trait-based approaches to unravelling the assembly of weed communities and their impact on agro-ecosystem functioning. Weed Research52, 479–488.
The trait-based approach to plant functional ecology has gained considerable attention over the last two decades, allowing ecologists to address questions relating to species distribution, community assembly and ecosystem functioning. We show here how this approach can be used to address these issues for weed ecology in a new way, allowing research to shift from purely weed control issues to a more global understanding of the impact of weed communities on the agro-ecosystem. We review how weed species are sorted by environmental factors and management according to the value of traits and the role thereof in the assembly of weed communities. How weed trait values and their distribution within communities affect agro-ecosystem processes is discussed in relation to loss of crop production. We also introduce the question of the impact of weed functional structure on ecosystem services and suggest some directions for research at species, community and agro-ecosystem levels.