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Modeling the Impact of Harvest Weed Seed Control on Herbicide-Resistance Evolution

  • Gayle J. Somerville (a1), Stephen B. Powles (a2), Michael J. Walsh (a3) and Michael Renton (a4)


Harvest weed seed control (HWSC) techniques have been implemented in Australian cropping systems to target and reduce the number of weed seeds entering the seedbank and thereby reduce the number of problematic weeds emerging in subsequent years to infest subsequent crops. However, the influence of HWSC on ameliorating herbicide-resistance (HR) evolution has not been investigated. This research used integrated spatial modeling to examine how the frequency and efficacy of HWSC affected the evolution of resistance to initially effective herbicides. Herbicides were, in all cases, better protected from future resistance evolution when their use was combined with annual HWSC. Outbreaks of multiple HR were very unlikely to occur and were nearly always eliminated by adding annual, efficient HWSC. The efficacy of the HWSC was important, with greater reductions in the number of resistance genes achieved with higher-efficacy HWSC. Annual HWSC was necessary to protect sequences of lower-efficacy herbicides, but HWSC could still protect herbicides if it was used less often than once per year, when the HWSC and the herbicides were highly effective. Our results highlight the potential benefits of combining HWSC with effective herbicides for controlling weed populations and reducing the future evolution of HR.


Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence: Gayle J. Somerville, Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative, School of Agriculture and Environment, University of Western Australia, WA 6009, Australia. (Email:


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Modeling the Impact of Harvest Weed Seed Control on Herbicide-Resistance Evolution

  • Gayle J. Somerville (a1), Stephen B. Powles (a2), Michael J. Walsh (a3) and Michael Renton (a4)


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