WP Species addresses that S. arvensis and C. arvense reproduce by creeping roots and E. repens by rhizomes at various soil depths and with a specific periodicity over the growing period. Main emphasis is to expand ecological data and knowledge for three perennial species by investigating how disturbance and competition suppress the reproductive capacity of creeping organs and the spread of the species.
In WP Species literature on biology and control measures of the three species will be collected and systemized. Not only scientific literature but also other published and unpublished information from partners and on-going experiments will be utilized. Results from WP Disturbance will be continuously included. All these information will be included in an indexed database. The database will be shared with WP Competition. Identified gaps include the contribution of deep roots and sexual reproduction (C. arvense), the link between competition, withering and dormancy in roots (S. arvensis), and the importance of rhizome cutting and fragmentation (E. repens).
Small-scale experiments with three weed species will be conducted in Norway, Finland and Germany. The experiments will implement factors disturbance of the above/below-ground parts and competition, either separately or in combination at different growth stages of weeds. Experiments will be conducted either in controlled environments, in outdoors pots or in field plots/patches. Each experiment typically starts with treatments in spring or autumn and ends the next year. Destructive and/or non-destructive assessments on growth characteristics will be conducted during the experimental period.
Based on literature and experiments, species-specific ecological rules will be outlined on growth strategies, storage and spread (space, time, and soil depth) affected by disturbance and competition. They will then serve as inputs to WP Modelling and WP Graphic web tool.