Top Story: Invasive weed

Yellow starthistle

Climate change allows invasive weed
to outcompete local species

June 2, 2011
By Brian Wallheimer

Yellow starthistle already causes millions of dollars in damage to pastures in western states each year, and as climate changes, land managers can expect the problem with that weed and others to escalate.

When exposed to increased carbon dioxide, precipitation, nitrogen and temperature - all expected results of climate change - yellow starthistle in some cases grew to six times its normal size while the other grassland species remained relatively unchanged, according to a Purdue University study published in the early online edition of the journal Ecological Applications.

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