Cannabis de-domestication and invasion risk

Susan Canavan, Z. T. Brym, Giuseppe Brundu, Katharina Dehnen-Schmutz, D Lieurance, T. Petri, W. H. Wadlington, John R.U. Wilson, S. L. Flory

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Cultivated plants provide food, fiber, and energy but they can escape, de-domesticate, colonize agroecosystems as weeds, and disrupt natural ecosystems as invasive species. Escape and invasion depend on traits of the species, type and rate of domestication, and cultivation context. Understanding this “de-domestication invasion process” is critical for managing conservation efforts that reduce unintended consequences of cultivated species in novel areas. Cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) is an ideal case study to explore this process because it was one of the earliest plants to co-evolve with humans, has a crop to weed history, and has been introduced and cultivated globally. Moreover, recent liberalization of cannabis cultivation and use policies have raised concerns about invasion risk. Here, we synthesize knowledge on cannabis breeding, cultivation, and processing relevant to invasion risk and outline research and management priorities to help overcome the research deficit on the invasion ecology of the species. Understanding the transition of cannabis through the de-domestication-invasion process will inform policy and minimize agricultural and environmental risks associated with cultivation of domesticated species.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109709
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Conservation
Early online date7 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

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  • crops
  • hemp
  • invasion risk
  • Non-native species
  • weeds
  • cultivated plants
  • feral plants
  • weed ecology
  • agronomy
  • invasion ecology


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