The factors driving evolved herbicide resistance at a national scale

Hicks, H.L. ORCID: 0000-0003-1325-2293, Comont, D., Coutts, S.R., Crook, L., Hull, R., Norris, K., Neve, P., Childs, D.Z. and Freckleton, R.P., 2018. The factors driving evolved herbicide resistance at a national scale. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2 (3), pp. 529-536. ISSN 2397-334X

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Abstract

Repeated use of xenobiotic chemicals has selected for the rapid evolution of resistance threatening health and food security at a global scale. Strategies for preventing the evolution of resistance include cycling and mixtures of chemicals and diversification of management. We currently lack large-scale studies that evaluate the efficacy of these different strategies for minimizing the evolution of resistance. Here we use a national scale dataset of occurrence of the weed Alopecurus myosuroides (Blackgrass) in the UK to address this. Weed densities are correlated with assays of evolved resistance, supporting the hypothesis that resistance is driving weed abundance at a national scale. Resistance was correlated with the frequency of historical herbicide applications suggesting that evolution of resistance is primarily driven by intensity of exposure to herbicides, but was unrelated directly to other cultural techniques. We find that populations resistant to one herbicide are likely to show resistance to multiple herbicide classes. Finally, we show that the economic costs of evolved resistance are considerable: loss of control through resistance can double the economic costs of weeds. This research highlights the importance of managing threats to food production and healthcare systems using an evolutionarily informed approach in a proactive not reactive manner.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Creators: Hicks, H.L., Comont, D., Coutts, S.R., Crook, L., Hull, R., Norris, K., Neve, P., Childs, D.Z. and Freckleton, R.P.
Publisher: Springer Nature
Date: March 2018
Volume: 2
Number: 3
ISSN: 2397-334X
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1038/s41559-018-0470-1DOI
470Publisher Item Identifier
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 09 Oct 2018 13:15
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2018 13:20
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/34627

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