Confronting herbicide resistance with cooperative management

Jeffrey A. Evans, Alwyn Williams, Aaron G. Hager, Steven B. Mirsky, Patrick J. Tranel, Adam S. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Resistance of pathogens and pests to antibiotics and pesticides worldwide is rapidly reaching critical levels. The common-pool-resource nature of this problem (i.e. whereby the susceptibility to treatment of target organisms is a shared resource) has been largely overlooked. Using herbicide-resistant weeds as a model system, we developed a discrete-time landscape-scale simulation to investigate how aggregating herbicide management strategies at different spatial scales from individual farms to larger cooperative structures affects the evolution of glyphosate resistance in common waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus). RESULTS: Our findings indicate that high-efficacy herbicide management strategies practiced at the farm scale are insufficient to slow resistance evolution in A. tuberculatus. When best practices were aggregated at large spatial scales, resistance evolution was hindered; conversely, when poor management practices were aggregated, resistance was exacerbated. Tank mixture-based strategies were more effective than rotation-based strategies in most circumstances, while applying glyphosate alone resulted in the poorest outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings highlight the importance of landscape-scale cooperative management for confronting common-pool-resource resistance problems in weeds and other analogous systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2424-2431
Number of pages8
JournalPest Management Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • Amaranthus tuberculatus
  • common waterhemp
  • common-pool resources
  • cooperative weed management
  • herbicide resistance
  • spatial modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Insect Science


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