Table Of ContentsNext Page

Ecological impossibility of sustainable crop production under complete weed control: does allelopathy have a role to play?

Azim Mallik1 and Inderjit2

1Biology Department, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada P7B 5E1; E mail
CEMDE, School of Environmental Studies, University of Delhi, Delhi 110007, India; E mail


In this conceptual paper we argue that it is impossible to sustain crop productivity in the long run under a complete weed eradication program because of the loss of above ground and rhizosphere biodiversity which will ultimately reduce crop productivity even under the most aggressive use of weed resistant crops, agrochemicals as fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, and irrigation water. Instead a sustainable crop production with moderate yield can be achieved with a better understanding of the cropland ecology and managing the population biology of major weeds. Allelopathy can play an important role in achieving this objective along with other non-chemical weed control measures. The challenges and opportunities of ecological management of weeds will be highlighted with examples.

Media Summary

Improved crop yields will be obtained with a better understanding of cropland ecology and weed management. Allelopathy has an important role to play in this.


Allelopathy, biodiversity, crop production, ecology, sustainability

Top Of PageNext Page