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WSSA Announces Availability of New Education Materials on Weeds and Their Impact

LAWRENCE, Kansas – February 2, 2016 – Today the Weed Science Society of American (WSSA) announced that new and updated educational materials for both weed scientists and the general public are now available for free download from the Society’s website.

Free fact sheet on types of weeds

WSSA is offering a new fact sheet that clarifies the similarities and differences among several categories of weeds, including noxious weeds, invasive weeds and so-called “superweeds.”  It also includes a new definition of the word “weed” that has been recently endorsed by WSSA.

“There are many definitions for a ‘weed’ found on the web and in other reference materials – ranging from the very simple to the very complex,” says Lee Van Wychen, Ph.D., science policy director for WSSA.  “We decided it was time for us to distill the best and most accurate aspects of those into a single definition that clearly reflects the significance of weeds on our world.”

WSSA now defines a weed as “a plant that causes economic losses or ecological damage, creates health problems for humans or animals, or is undesirable where it is growing.”

Free brochure with informative facts about weeds

In addition to its new fact sheet, WSSA also has released an updated version of its popular brochure Facts about Weeds.  The publication includes dozens of interesting and informative tidbits – from weed seeds found near outer space to the impact of weeds on crop production.

Free publication on research methods

Finally, WSSA is offering free, open access to a special online issue of the journal Weed Science, focusing on weed science research methods.  The publication contains 13 articles for online reading or download – from “Experimental Methods for Crop-Weed Competition Studies” to “Proving Allelopathy in Crop–Weed Interactions.”

A large global team of weed scientists helped to develop this special issue.  Nilda Roma-Burgos of the University of Arkansas and Stephen O. Duke of the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service served as editors.

“Our goal was to produce a consolidated reference, authored by experts in various fields of weed science, that presents updated protocols for designing and conducting weed science experiments and for analyzing research data,” Roma-Burgos says. “We believe the information will be invaluable for students and young weed scientists, as well as senior practitioners.”

All three publications are available on WSSA’s website.

About the Weed Science Society of America

The Weed Science Society of America, a nonprofit scientific society, was founded in 1956 to encourage and promote the development of knowledge concerning weeds and their impact on the environment. The Society promotes research, education and extension outreach activities related to weeds, provides science-based information to the public and policy makers, fosters awareness of weeds and their impact on managed and natural ecosystems, and promotes cooperation among weed science organizations across the nation and around the world. For more information, visit www.wssa.net.