The nature and consequence of weed spatial distribution

John Cardina, Gregg A Johnson, Denise H. Sparrow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Scopus citations


Seed dispersal, interacting with environmental disturbance and management across heterogeneous landscapes, results in irregular weed spatial distributions. Describing, predicting, and managing weed populations requires an understanding of how weeds are distributed spatially and the consequences of this distribution for population processes. Semivariograms and kriged maps of weed populations in several fields have helped describe spatial structure, but few generalizations can be drawn except that populations are aggregated at one or more scales. Limited information is available on the effect of weed arrangement, pattern, or field location on weed population processes. Because weeds are neither regular nor uniform in distribution, mean density alone is of limited value in estimating yield loss or describing population dynamics over a whole field. Sampling strategies that account for spatial distribution can increase sampling efficiency. Further research should focus on understanding processes that cause changes in spatial distributions over time to help predict rates of invasion and potential extent of colonization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-373
Number of pages10
JournalWeed Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997


  • Geostatistics
  • Patchiness
  • Spatial pattern
  • Variography


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