Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Using a pervasive invader for weed science education.

Abstract

Students studying weed science would expand their knowledge by conducting targeted experiments on invasive weeds. Tamarix spp., some of the most problematic weeds known in the United States, have value for weed science education. Tamarix was used in an undergraduate laboratory course to demonstrate weed science principles for a minimal cost and with great potential for academic enhancement. The laboratory exercise was designed to teach weed science students about the difficulty associated with controlling invasive weeds even at a relatively young age in a region where plants have been detected but large-scale invasion has not occurred to emphasize the importance of early detection and rapid response. The successful execution of this exercise and the positive student response suggests that Tamarix and other weeds with similar reproductive capacities could be valuable additions to weed science curricula. Innovative approaches to teaching weed science facilitate greater learning of this complex subject by students from diverse backgrounds and academic disciplines.