InTeGrate Modules and Courses >Future of Food > Student Materials > Module 8: Pests and Integrated Pest Management > Module 8.2: Weeds, Transgenic Crops for Pest Management, and Pathogens > Weed Survival Characteristics
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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The collection is freely available and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
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These student materials complement the Future of Food Instructor Materials. If you would like your students to have access to the student materials, we suggest you either point them at the Student Version which omits the framing pages with information designed for faculty (and this box). Or you can download these pages in several formats that you can include in your course website or local Learning Managment System. Learn more about using, modifying, and sharing InTeGrate teaching materials.

Weed Survival Characteristics

In addition, many weeds have traits that enhance their survival and reproductive success such as: i. hard-seeds or seeds that can remain dormant for long time periods until environmental conditions for germination are good, enhancing weed seed success, ii. plant protective characteristics such as thorns, toxic tissues, protected growing buds, iii. adaptive growth to a wide range of environmental conditions, also referred to as plasticity. For example, in a field or lawn that is grazed or mowed to a short height to control weeds, adaptive weeds can produce leaves very close to the soil surface and flowers on short stems below the mowing height.

Check Your Understanding

Read about the Velvetleaf weed species (Abutilon theophrasti L.) at Velvetleaf.

Velvetleaf has hard seed. How long can the seed survive? On the website click on the link that discusses Velvetleaf Adaptation and Stress. What examples does the author use to illustrate velvetleaf plasticity or ability to adapt to its growing conditions?


These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The collection is freely available and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
Explore the Collection »