Study

Regeneration of native wetland plant assemblages following herbicide control of common reed Phragmites australis at Chapman Pond, East Haddam, Connecticut, USA

  • Published source details Farnsworth E.J. & Meyerson L.A. (1999) Species composition and inter-annual dynamics of a freshwater tidal plant community following removal of the invasive grass, Phragmites australis. Biological Invasions, 1, 115-127

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use cutting/mowing to control problematic herbaceous plants: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Use herbicide to control problematic plants: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Use cutting/mowing to control problematic herbaceous plants: freshwater marshes

    A controlled, before-and-after study in 1995–1998 in a freshwater marsh dominated by common reed Phragmites australis in Connecticut, USA (Farnsworth & Meyerson 1999) found that cutting/mowing the vegetation (along with applying herbicide) increased the evenness of the plant community and the abundance and richness of non-reed species. After three years, treated plots contained a more even plant community, less dominated by one or two species, than an untreated plot (data reported as a coefficient of variation; see original paper for data on individual species abundance). Treated plots also had greater plant species richness (cut/herbicide: 5; mow/herbicide: 7; untreated: 3 species/m2, excluding common reed) and contained a greater density of non-reed stems (cut/herbicide: 78; mow/herbicide: 97; untreated: 15 stems/m2). Common reed was less abundant in treated plots, in terms of stem density (cut/herbicide: 19; mow/herbicide: 6; untreated: 36 stems/m2) and frequency (cut/herbicide: 64%; mow/herbicide: 45%; untreated: 98% of surveyed quadrats contained common reed). Before intervention, all plots had relatively similar plant species richness (2–3 species/m2, excluding common reed), non-reed density (7–23 stems/m2) and reed density (33–40 stems/m2). Methods: In 1995, two 0.4-ha plots were treated in a reed-dominated, tidal, freshwater marsh. In August, each plot was sprayed with herbicide (Rodeo® 1%). In autumn, one plot was cut by hand and one was mown mechanically; cuttings were left in place. A third adjacent plot was neither sprayed with herbicide nor cut/mown. The study does not distinguish between the effects of cutting/mowing and applying herbicide. In late summer before (1995) and after (1996–1998) intervention, plant stems were identified and counted in fifty 1-m2 quadrats/plot.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  2. Use herbicide to control problematic plants: freshwater marshes

    A controlled, before-and-after study in 1995–1998 in a freshwater marsh dominated by common reed Phragmites australis in Connecticut, USA (Farnsworth & Meyerson 1999) found that applying herbicide to the vegetation (along with cutting/mowing) increased the evenness of the plant community and the abundance and richness of non-reed species. After three years, treated plots contained a more even plant community, less dominated by one or two species, than an untreated plot (data reported as a coefficient of variation; see original paper for data on individual species abundance). Treated plots also had greater plant species richness (excluding common reed; treated: 5–7 species/m2; untreated: 3 species/m2) and contained a greater density of non-reed stems (treated: 78–97 stems/m2; untreated: 15 stems/m2). Common reed was less abundant in treated plots, in terms of stem density (treated: 6–19 stems/m2; untreated: 36 stems/m2) and frequency (treated: 45–64%; untreated: 98% of surveyed quadrats contained common reed). Before intervention, all plots had relatively similar plant species richness (excluding common reed; 2–3 species/m2), non-reed density (7–23 stems/m2) and reed density (33–40 stems/m2). Methods: In 1995, two 0.4-ha plots were treated in a reed-dominated, tidal, freshwater marsh. In August, each plot was sprayed with herbicide (Rodeo® 1%). In autumn, one plot was cut by hand and one was mown mechanically; cuttings were left in place. A third adjacent plot was neither sprayed with herbicide nor cut/mown. The study does not distinguish between the effects of applying herbicide and cutting/mowing. In late summer before (1995) and after (1996–1998) intervention, plant stems were identified and counted in fifty 1-m2 quadrats/plot.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

Output references

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