Parrot’s feather: Use of herbicides - endohall
Overall effectiveness category Likely to be beneficial
Number of studies: 3
Background information and definitions
Chemical herbicides have been used for the localized control of parrot’s feather (e.g. Morreira et al. 1999). Herbicides licensed for use around the world use a wide diversity of different active ingredients (e.g. 2,4-D, imazapyr, carfentrazone-ethyl, diquat). However, herbicide control of aquatic vegetation is prohibited in numerous countries (e.g. no herbicides are approved for submerged species in Europe) (De Winton et al. 2013; Hussner et al. 2017). Therefore it is important to consider local regulations before using herbicide control. Legislative restrictions may be lifted for herbicides under particular conditions (Hussner et al. 2017). Impacts on non-target species should be considered prior to herbicide use.
Emerged and submerged vegetation may require different herbicides, and adjuvants may increase the efficacy of the treatment. More than one application of the herbicide is often required. The use of fungal-based herbicides to control parrot’s feather is discussed under the intervention ‘Biological control using fungal-based herbicides’.
De Winton M., Jones H., Edwards T., Özkundakci D., Wells R., McBride C., Rowe D., Hamilton D., Clayton J., Champion P. & Hofstra D. (2013) Review of Best Management Practices for Aquatic Vegetation Control in Stormwater Ponds, Wetlands, and Lakes. Auckland Council technical report, TR2013/026.
Hussner A., Stiers I., Verhofstad M.J.J.M., Bakker E.S., Grutters B.M.C., Haury J., van Valkenburg J.L.C.H., Brundu G., Newman J., Clayton J.S. & Anderson L.W.J. (2017) Management and control methods of invasive alien freshwater aquatic plants: A review. Aquatic Botany, 136, 112-137.
Moreira I., Ferreira T., Monteiro A., Catarino L. & Vasconcelos T. (1999) Aquatic weeds and their management in Portugal: insights and the international context. Hydrobiologia 415, 229–234.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A small, replicated, controlled, laboratory study conducted between 1999 and 2000 in New Zealand (Hofstra et al. 2006) found that the herbicide endothall reduced the growth of parrot’s feather Myriophyllum aquaticum. After 17 weeks, plants treated with endothall had a lower dry weight (29–57 g) than that of untreated plants (274 g). Plants were grown for approximately two months prior to herbicide application in 60 l plastic tubs. Endothall was sprayed onto plants in three tubs at a concentration of 9 and 15 kg/ha and plants in four tubs were left untreated.Study and other actions tested
A replicated, controlled field study conducted between 2001 and 2002 in a wetland in the Northern Island of New Zealand (Hofstra et al. 2006) reported that treatment with the herbicide endothall reduced vegetation cover of parrot’s feather Myriophyllum aquaticum plants soon after application, but after 28 weeks cover was similar to pre-treatment levels. Results were not subject to statistical tests. After 10 weeks and following a second herbicide application, vegetation cover of treated plants was lower (2%) than untreated plants (47%). However, after 28 weeks, vegetation cover of treated plants (93%) was similar to that of untreated plants (97%). Authors reported that the increase in vegetation cover resulted from the encroachment of plants from outside sprayed areas rather than due to regrowth in treated plots. Endothall was applied at concentrations of 8.8 and 14.8 kg/ha. Each herbicide concentration was sprayed into three 5 x 5 m plots and three plots were left untreated. Herbicides were applied in early summer (December). A second application took place 51 days after the initial treatment.Study and other actions tested
A small, replicated, controlled, laboratory study conducted between 2007 and 2008 in the USA (Wersal & Madsen et al. 2010), found that the application of the herbicide endothall above a certain concentration reduced the growth of parrot’s feather Myriophyllum aquaticum. After six weeks, the dry weight of parrot’s feather plants treated with endothall at a concentration of 5 mg/l was lower than that of untreated plants (12 vs 18 g/pot) but the dry weight of plants treated with endothall at a concentration of 2.5 mg/l did not differ from untreated plants (17 vs 18 g/pot). Visual assessment revealed no reduction in vegetation by endothall at either concentration six weeks after herbicide application (0% change relative to untreated plants). Parrot’s feather shoots were propagated in 3.78 l pots and placed inside 246 l containers filled with water. Each herbicide rate was applied to four 246 l containers, each holding four plants. Number of plants used as control is not presented. Visual assessments were expressed in percentage, with 0% corresponding to no control and 100% to complete control.Study and other actions tested