Biology and management of Avena fatua and Avena ludoviciana: two noxious weed species of agro-ecosystems

Ali Ahsan Bajwa, Muhammad Javaid Akhter, Nadeem Iqbal, Arslan Masood Peerzada, Zarka Hanif, Sudheesh Manalil , Saima Hashim, Hafiz Haider Ali, Lynda Kebaso, David Frimpong, Halima Namubiru, Bhagirath Singh Chauhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Avena fatua and Avena ludoviciana are closely related grass weed species infesting a large number of crops around the world. These species are widely distributed in diverse agro-ecosystems from temperate to sub-tropical regions due to their unique seed traits, successful germination ecology, high competitive ability, and allelopathic potential. A. fatua is more widespread, adaptable, and problematic than A. ludoviciana. Both these species infest major winter and spring crops, including wheat, oat, barley, canola, maize, alfalfa, and sunflower, causing up to 70% yield losses depending on crop species and weed density. Chemical control has been challenged by large-scale herbicide resistance evolution in these weed species. A. fatua is the most widespread herbicide-resistant weed in the world, infesting about 5 million hectares in 13 countries. The use of alternative herbicides with different modes of action has proved effective. Several cultural practices, including diverse crop rotations, cover crops, improved crop competition (using competitive cultivars, high seed rates, narrow row spacing, altered crop geometry), and allelopathic suppression, have shown promise for controlling A. fatua and A. ludoviciana. The integrated use of these cultural methods can reduce the herbicide dose required, and lower dependency on herbicides to control these grasses. Moreover, integrated management may successfully control herbicide-resistant populations of these weed species. The use of integrated approaches based on the knowledge of biology and ecology of A. fatua and A. ludoviciana may help to manage them sustainably in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19465–19479
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


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