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Interactions between weeds, arthropod pests, and their natural enemies in managed ecosystems

  • Robert F. Norris and Marcos Kogan (a1)


Interactions between weeds and arthropods occur frequently. This review covers the topic of weed/arthropod interactions, and provides the reader with access to literature in the subject area that is scattered in weed science, entomological, crop production, and ecological journals. We first analyze the current status of weed and arthropod management in the context of multidisciplinary integrated pest management (IPM). The remainder of the review is organized according to the mechanisms driving interactions. The first section deals with interactions driven by trophic relationships, and is subdivided into direct and indirect trophic interactions. Direct trophic interactions occur when pest or beneficial arthropods feed directly on weeds. Indirect trophic interactions occur when arthropod feeding damage to crops impacts weeds through alteration of ecosystem resource availability, or through weeds serving as hosts for alternate prey for beneficial arthropods, or via tritrophic interactions. The second mechanism driving interactions is considered in relation to alteration of the physical habitat by the presence of weeds, such as alteration of temperature within the plant canopy. The third major mechanism driving interactions is based on control tactics for the two types of pests. These are considered from the aspect of direct physical effects, such as tillage, and from the aspect of interactions resulting from the use of pesticides. The latter is divided into direct effects of herbicides and insecticides on non-target pests and beneficials, and on interactions that result from alteration of host plant physiology by pesticides. A conclusion section attempts to place the impact of interactions into an IPM framework, and to indicate where multidisciplinary research involving weed and arthropod management should be focused in the future.


Corresponding author

Corresponding author. Weed Science Program, University of California, Davis, CA 95616


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