Adapting weed management in rice to changing climates

J. Rodenburg, H.B. Meinke

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperAcademic


This paper provides some of the scientific background on how projected environmental conditions could affect weeds and weed management in rice in Africa. Elevated CO2 levels may have positive effects on rice competitiveness with C4 weeds, but these are generally outnumbered by C3 species in weed populations of rice in Africa. Moreover, higher temperatures and drought will favor C4 over C3 plants. Increased CO2 levels may also improve tolerance of rice against parasitic weeds, while invasiveness of such species may be stimulated by soil degradation and more frequent droughts or floods. Elevated CO2 may increase belowground relative to aboveground growth, in particular of perennial (C3) species, rendering mechanical control less effective or even counterproductive. Increased CO2 levels, rainfall and temperature may also reduce the effectiveness of chemical control. The implementation of climate change adaptation technologies, such as drought-tolerant germplasm and water-saving irrigation regimes, will also have consequences for rice–weed competition. Rainfed production systems are hypothesized to be most vulnerable to direct effects of climate change (e.g. changes in rainfall patterns) and are likely to face increased competition from C4 and parasitic weeds. Bioticstress- tolerant rice cultivars to be developed for these systems should encompass weed competitiveness and parasitic-weed resistance. In irrigated systems, indirect effects will be more important and weed management strategies should be diversified to lessen dependency on herbicides and mechanical control, and be targeted to perennial rhizotomous (C3) weeds. Water-saving production methods that replace the weed-suppressive flood water layer by intermittent or continuous periods of aerobic conditions, necessitate additional weed management strategies to address the inherent increases in weed competition.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventSecond Africa Rice Congress, Innovation and Partnerships to Realize Africa‘s Rice Potential Bamako, Mali -
Duration: 22 Mar 201026 Mar 2010


ConferenceSecond Africa Rice Congress, Innovation and Partnerships to Realize Africa‘s Rice Potential Bamako, Mali

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