chapter  11
32 Pages

The Ecology of Weed Seed Predation in Herbaceous Crop Systems

Could weed seed predation (i.e., the consumption and destruction of weed seeds by granivorous animals) be a component of management strategies that reduce reliance on herbicide applications and cultivation? Plant ecologists have long recognized the important role that seed predation plays in the evolution, and population and community dynamics of native plants in nonagricultural systems (see Janzen, 1971; Harper, 1977; Crawley, 1989, 1992; Louda, 1989, 2001; Zhang et al., 1997a; Hulme, 2002; and references therein). As we show in this review, researchers are now devoting a substantial amount of effort to better understanding the role of weed seed predation in agroecosystems, since this process appears to be important for regulating weed density and community composition.