Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Invasive Johnsongrass, a threat to native grasslands and agriculture.

Abstract

Among the weedy plant species, Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense) is one of the most destructive. Johnsongrass has invaded new habitats beyond its native Eurasian origin by outcompeting native flora and cultivated crops. The Johnsongrass habitat is expanding continuously due to clonal and self-pollinating reproduction strategy, accelerated growth and the progressing climate change. As a result, Johnsongrass has reduced native plant diversity in grasslands and inflicted economic damage to agriculture on every continent. Johnsongrass is a growing threat to crop production, as it serves as a refuge for a variety of agricultural pests and plant viral diseases. Over the past decades, herbicides extensively applied to control Johnsongrass have boosted selection pressure, resulting in the independent evolution of herbicide-resistant ecotypes across multiple locations. The apparent threat to native flora and agriculture caused by the invasive Johnsongrass is a subject to a long and ongoing research. This review provides a historical and research overview on Johnsongrass expansion, its current as well future impact particularly on North American and European grasslands and agriculture.