AgriWeedClim: New weed species under the influence of climate and land use changes in Central Europe.


Agriculture is affected by various factors, such as climate change, biological invasions, changing land use, and increasing intensification of land use. These factors also affect weed species. New weed species are coming to Central Europe, causing significant yield losses and control costs. The AgriWeedClim project will investigate the changes in weed flora in Central Europe. In addition, recommendations will be developed to minimize the spread and negative consequences of emerging weed species.

Project description

The AgriWeedClim project investigates historical changes in the composition of weed communities in Central Europe caused by changes in land use, the introduction of alien species and climate change. Questions are answered about which weed species have declined, increased, or become newly established in the past. This will identify key factors that led to the changes in weed flora composition. From these results, the top 20 new and emerging weed species will be identified and the future distribution of these species will be predicted based on land use and climate change trends. The next step is to identify risk areas for new and emerging weed species. In addition, a set of measures to limit future spread will be provided and the impact of the most significant new and emerging weed species on agriculture will be described.

Interim Results

A database (AgriWeedClim database) has been established, which currently contains more than 32,000 vegetation records from fields in Central Europe. In addition, various data (e.g. ecological indicator values, biogeographical status) on individual weed species were collected. Initial analyses of changes in weed flora show that weed species that have a preference for nutrient-rich sites are particularly prevalent. This analysis also confirmed that neophytes are an increasingly spreading group. The project also conducted an Austria-wide online survey of 181 farms to identify important emerging weed species. From this survey, it appears that farmers perceive a change in the weed flora on their farms. The majority of farms surveyed indicated that previously unknown weed species were present in the fields. Newly emerging weed species that need special attention are ragweed, aleppo millet, tiger grass, datura and knotweed species.

Project details

Project acronym: AgriWeedClim

Project management: University of Vienna

Project management AGES: Dr. Swen Follak, Institute for Sustainable Plant Production

Project partners: University of Vienna, Masaryk University (Brno)

Funding: KPC - ACRP

Project duration: 11.2021 to 10.2024


Glaser M., Berg C., Buldrini F., Buholzer S., Bürger J. & Chiarucci A. et al. (2022): AgriWeedClim database: A repository of vegetation plot data from Central European arable habitats over 100 years. Applied Vegetation Science 25(e12675), 1-13, doi: 10.1111/avsc.12675.

Glaser M., Dullinger S., Moser D., Wessely J., Chytrý M., Lososová Z., Axmanová I., Berg C., Bürger J., Buholzer S., Buldrini F., Chiarucci A., Follak S., Küzmič F., Meyer S., Pyšek P., Richner N., Šilc U., Steinkellner S., Wietzke A., Essl F. (2024): Pronounced turnover of vascular plant species in Central European arable fields over 90 years. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 361, 108798,

Follak S., Chapman D., Schwarz M., Essl, F. (2023): An emerging weed: rapid spread of Solanum carolinense in Austria. BioInvasions Records 12, 649-658.

Glaser M., Essl F., Follak S. (2024): Austrian farmers perception of new weeds. Plant-Environment Interactions. Plant-Environment Interactions (Early view),

Follak S., Essl F., Glaser M. (2023): Weed flora in transition. The Plant Doctor 76(11-12), pp. 7-9.

Last updated: 01.02.2024

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