Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Commercial way of utilization of Parthenium hysterophorus for strategic weed management.

Abstract

Parthenium (Parthenium hysterophorus L.) is an invasive herbaceous weed which belongs to the family Compositae. In India it is believed to have been introduced in the 1950s and currently covering almost all parts of the country causing up to yield reduction in crop fields. Parthenium hysterophorus, one of the world's most dangerous weeds, is responsible for huge losses to the biodiversity, agriculture, economy, and health of livestock and human beings. High competitive success rate and adaptability of the species enable it to dominate diverse types of habitats. Various weed control strategies are being used globally to reduce its population to manageable levels. But owing to many limitations associated with the conventional methods, management of Parthenium still remains a challenge. Ever increasing demand of food and simultaneously decreasing arable land have put a big question mark over the future food supply. Side by side, extensive use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides in agroecosystems has challenged the agricultural sustainability, food quality, and environmental safety. In these circumstances, the world scientific community is looking for other sustainable, cheaper, and ecofriendly alternatives. The attention is usually focused on reducing overreliance on synthetic pesticides and herbicides to find better alternative strategies for pest and weed management. In this regard, allelopathy has great prospects for meeting some of these demands. The allelopathic potential can be used in several ways not only in agroecosystems, but also in natural degraded ecosystem managements. The proceeding discussions in this chapter will explore multifarious prospects of allelopathy in the service of humanity and nature. Recently large scale utilization has been taken up as a holistic approach for the control of weeds. Parthenium hysterophorus can be managed by exploiting this weed in diverse fields. In the present studies the allelopathic potential was studied in laboratory and in field conditions with the objectives to explore the potential of P. hysterophorus as bioherbicide in future. Laboratory based experiment showed that with the increasing concentration of P. hysterophorus, the germination percentage, seedling length and seedling weight of all the three species tested was significantly decreased.