Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract Full Text

Of Amaranthus palmeri and other demons.


Amaranthus palmeri has become one of the most important weed species in the agriculture of the United States of America. During the last few years, there have been reports indicating that this species is invading agroecosystems in other countries and regions, including Spain. The success and weediness of this weed are due to its high reproductive potential, high growth rate, and fast evolution of resistance to herbicides of multiple mechanisms of action. Furthermore, this species has high adaptability that enables invasion of ecosystems different than its center of origin, resulting from its dioecious reproduction, high genetic diversity, and its potential for hybridizing with other Amaranthus species. Due to its weediness, when there are A. palmeri established populations, it is critical to develop integrated management plans that focus on eliminating seed production. In countries or regions where this species is starting to invade, it is recommended that not only regulatory authorities, but also the agricultural sector as a whole, implement aggressive actions to prevent the establishment and dispersion, preferably aiming to eradicate this weed from those places where it is first detected.