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Ecología austral

On-line version ISSN 1667-782X


GUGLIELMINI, Antonio C; GHERSA, Claudio M  and  SATORRE, Emilio H. Co-evolution of domesticated crops and associated weeds. Ecol. austral [online]. 2007, vol.17, n.1, pp.167-178. ISSN 1667-782X.

Crops and weeds co-evolve in particular plant communities that are assembled in agro-ecosystems. In this essay we discuss the mechanisms determining this co-evolution and the processes regulating the success of individual populations within crop-weed communities as a starting point to evaluate and interpret which are the risks of promoting invasive species due to technological changes introduced into cropping activities. We follow a framework considering co-evolutionary mechanisms (namely, genetic variation, breeding system and selective forces) and demographical processes (namely, establishment, competition, dispersion) as a way to predict, not only how weeds will evolve in agricultural land, and thus how new problems for production of food and fibre arise but, also to evaluate the risk of generating species that might affect other semi natural and natural ecosystems.

Keywords : Evolutionary mechanisms; Demographical processes; Weeds; Crops.

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