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Individual study: Efficacy of four herbicides for restoring native grasses in buffelgrass Pennisetum ciliare-invaded grasslands at the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Bomer Wildlife Management Area, Texas, USA

Published source details

Tjelmeland A.D., Fulbright T.E. & Lloyd-Reilley J. (2008) Evaluation of herbicides for restoring native grasses in buffelgrass-dominated grasslands. Restoration Ecology, 16, 263-269


In Texas (southern USA) buffelgrass Pennisetum ciliare is a non-native invasive that threatens arid and semi-arid ecosystems. A study was undertaken in buffelgrass-dominated grasslands at Texas A&M University-Kingsville Bomer Wildlife Management Area, to assess effectiveness of five herbicides at reducing buffelgrass competition to enhance establishment of three species of native grasses.

Buffelgrass-dominated pasture was mown (cut-material raked-off) on 2 September 2002. On 18 September and 7 October 2002, glyphosate herbicide was applied as a pre-treatment. On 8 October, a seed mix of three native grasses (green sprangletop Leptochloa dubia, plains bristlegrass Setaria leucopila, and four-flower trichloris Chloris pluriflora) was drill-seeded.
Two experiments were undertaken, treatments (plus controls) applied to plots (10 x 10 m) in randomized complete block design:
1) three treatments (four replicates) of two rates (1.12 and 2.24 kg/ha) of 80% tebuthiuron, applied pre-emergence (9 October 2002);
2) six treatments (four replicate) of three post-emergent herbicides (Weedmaster, Plateau and Grazon) applied 27 July 2003).
Percent canopy cover was estimated within each plot during April, June and October 2003 and August 2004.

Tebuthiuron at 2.24 kg/ha suppressed buffelgrass cover compared with controls and increased native grasses (particularly Chloris) for almost 2 years after application, thus providing a potential restoration treatment.

Post-emergent herbicides had no significant effect on buffelgrass or planted grass cover. Native grass cover never exceeded 8% in any treatment. Buffelgrass cover returned to pre-treatment levels in less than 1 year.
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