Predicting Biofuel Invasiveness: A Relative Comparison to Crops and Weeds

Larissa L. Smith, Daniel R. Tekiela, and Jacob N. Barney

Several plants grown as biofuel crops have proved to be invasive in some environments. A recent study featured in the Journal Invasive Plant Science and Management shows that the current “gold-standard” weed risk assessment techniques simply aren’t up to the task of predicting invasiveness. Risk assessment models failed to reliably distinguish weeds from crops. For example, cereal rye received a higher risk score than kudzu, which is a widespread and damaging invader across the Southeast. 

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