Determination of Arable Weed Patterns according to Temperature and Latitude Gradient in Central and Southern Spain

Background: The success of crops in agro-ecosystems is closely linked to the landscape’s biodiversity. In the context of climate change, it’s critical to understand how weed species respond to environmental variation through their dispersal. Biodiversity has been influenced by a variety of pressures associated to climate change throughout the last century. We hypothesise that species present in weed communities are dispersed in various ways as a response to climate change, despite the fact that vegetation composition changes at a slower rate than climate change. The study’s goals were to: 1) implement a novel methodology; 2) analyse the distribution pattern of weed species across climate gradients and identify weed species as potential indicators of climate change; and 3) provide data on expected weed distribution changes due to global warming to agricultural managers in order to maximise yield parameters while maintaining biodiversity.

Methods: Weeds were tracked in georeferenced cereal fields in the south and central regions of Spain. We were able to detect groupings of weeds and correlate them with a temperature range thanks to the graphic representation based on latitude. We categorised weeds as generalists, regionalists, or localists based on their distribution range.

As a result of the species monitoring, weeds were classified as generalist, regional, or local species based on latitude and temperature ranges. Linaria micrantha (Cav) Hoffmanns & Link., Sonchus oleraceous L., and Sysimbrium irium L. were classed as generalist weeds because they were found in all latitude/temperature zones. When the presence of a species was limited to a specific latitude/temperature range, it was defined as regional or local. Stellaria media (L.) Vill. was identified as a local species, and its distribution dynamics can be used as a temperature indicator.

Conclusions: The unique methodology utilised in this work to assign weed distribution as a climatic condition indicator could be used to assess climate gradients all over the world.

Author(S) Details

M. L. Gandia
Department of Environment and Agronomy, National Institute for Agricultural and food Research and Technology (INIA), Madrid, Spain.

C. Casanova
Department of Environment and Agronomy, National Institute for Agricultural and food Research and Technology (INIA), Madrid, Spain.

F.J. Sánchez
Department of Environment and Agronomy, National Institute for Agricultural and food Research and Technology (INIA), Madrid, Spain.

J. L. Tenorio
Department of Environment and Agronomy, National Institute for Agricultural and food Research and Technology (INIA), Madrid, Spain.

M. I. Santín-Montanyá
Department of Environment and Agronomy, National Institute for Agricultural and food Research and Technology (INIA), Madrid, Spain.

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