Implications of elevated carbon dioxide on the susceptibility of the globally invasive weed, Parthenium hysterophorus , to glyphosate herbicide
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BACKGROUND The noxious annual herb, Parthenium hysterophorus L. (Asteraceae), is an invasive weed of global significance, threatening food security, biodiversity and human health. In South Africa, chemical control is frequently used to manage P. hysterophorus , however, concern surrounds increasing atmospheric CO2 levels, which may reduce the efficacy of glyphosate against the weed. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the susceptibility of P. hysterophorus to glyphosate (1L/ha: recommended) after being grown for five generations in Convirons under ambient (400 ppm) and elevated (600 and 800 ppm) CO2. RESULTS Glyphosate efficacy decreased with increasing CO2, with mortalities of 100, 83 and 75% recorded at 400, 600 and 800 ppm, respectively. Parthenium hysterophorus experienced enhanced growth and reproduction under elevated CO2, however, glyphosate application was highly damaging, reducing the growth and flowering of plants across all CO2 treatments. Physiologically, glyphosate‐treated plants, in all CO2 treatments, suffered severe declines of >90% in chlorophyll content, maximum quantum efficiency (F v /Fm ), photon absorption (ABS/RC ), electron transport (ET 0 /RC ) and performance index (PI ABS ), albeit at slower rates for plants grown under elevated CO2. Low levels of recovery from glyphosate were documented only for plants grown under elevated CO2 and was attributed to their increased biomass. CONCLUSION These results suggest that increasing CO2 levels may hinder chemical control efforts used against P. hysterophorus in the future, advocating for further investigation using multigenerational CO2 studies and the maintenance of effective spraying programs at present.
- RESEARCH: Byrne, M