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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Inhibition of growth and development of mosses by a commonly-used herbicide, asulam, England

Published source details

Rowntree J.K., Sheffield E. & Burch J. (2005) Growth and development of mosses are inhibited by the common herbicide asulam. Bryologist, 108, 287-294


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Control bracken Farmland Conservation

A laboratory study in the UK (Rowntree et al. 2005) found that growth and development of three moss species were significantly inhibited by continuous exposure to the herbicide asulam over three weeks, but not by 24-hour exposure. The three moss species are widely distributed in the UK and frequently grow in association with bracken Pteridium aquilinum, so they are likely to be exposed when bracken is controlled using asulam. Campylopus introflexus was the least sensitive species tested and Polytrichum formosum the most sensitive, with a 10-fold difference in sensitivity between the two. The sensitivity of Bryum rubens lay between the two but was closer to that of C. introflexus than P. formosum. Mosses were exposed in sterile cultures to low concentrations (0.001-1 g/l) of the herbicide asulam for 24 hours or continuously, and their growth measured over three weeks.