Study

Increasing the effectiveness of reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) control in wet meadow restorations

  • Published source details Reinhardt Adams C. & Galatowitsch S.M. (2006) Increasing the effectiveness of reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) control in wet meadow restorations. Restoration Ecology, 14, 441-451.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Remove vegetation that could compete with planted non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Use prescribed fire to control problematic plants: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Introduce seeds of non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Use herbicide to control problematic plants: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Remove vegetation that could compete with planted non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

    A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled study in 2000–2004 in two wet meadows Minnesota, USA (Reinhardt Adams & Galatowitsch 2006) found that the effect of removing invasive reed canarygrass Phalaris arundinacea before sowing mixed grass and forbs seeds depended on the removal method. After 1–2 growing seasons, plots sprayed with herbicide contained more biomass of sown species (total: 0–70 g/m2) than unsprayed plots (total: 0 g/m2). Sprayed plots also contained less canarygrass biomass (10–480 g/m2) than unsprayed plots (420–880 g/m2). In contrast, burned plots contained a statistically similar overall biomass of sown species – and canarygrass – to unburned plots (data not reported). The pattern of results was the same for non-sown and total vegetation biomass (see Actions: Use prescribed fire to control problematic plants and Use herbicide to control problematic plants). Methods: In the early 2000s, one hundred and sixty 25-m2 plots were established, in 40 sets of four, across two canarygrass-invaded wet meadows. One hundred and twenty plots (three random plots/set) were sprayed with herbicide (Roundup® Ultra): in May, August or September and in one or two years. Eighty plots (20 random sets) were burned in spring. Some plots therefore received neither, one, or both removal treatments. All plots were sown with a mixture of grass and forb seeds in the spring after the final removal treatment. Dry biomass samples were taken in August, 1–2 growing seasons after sowing.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  2. Use prescribed fire to control problematic plants: freshwater marshes

    A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled study in 2000–2004 in two wet meadows invaded by reed canarygrass Phalaris arundinacea in Minnesota, USA (Reinhardt Adams & Galatowitsch 2006) found that prescribed burning had no significant effect on vegetation biomass, 2–3 growing seasons after the last burn. Vegetation biomass was statistically similar in burned and unburned plots. This was true for total biomass of non-canarygrass species (both sown and non-sown) and for canarygrass itself (data not reported). Burning did, however, have a short-term effect on canarygrass density. After four weeks, burned plots contained more canarygrass shoots (1,180 shoots/m2) than unburned plots (520 shoots/m2). Methods: In the early 2000s, one hundred and sixty 25-m2 plots were established, in 40 sets of four, across two canarygrass-invaded wet meadows. Eighty plots (20 random sets) were burned in mid-May, for either one or two years. The remaining 80 plots were not burned. Three-quarters of the plots under each burning treatment were also sprayed with herbicide later in the year. All plots were sown with a mixture of grass and forb seeds in the year after the final burn. Dry above-ground biomass samples were taken in August in the two years after burning.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  3. Introduce seeds of non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

    A replicated study in 2000–2004 in two wet meadows in Minnesota, USA (Reinhardt Adams & Galatowitsch 2006) reported that 15 of 26 sown herb species established. For these 15 species, some biomass was found in at least one sown plot after one and/or two growing seasons. In every plot, the total biomass of sown species was <10% of the biomass of species that had not been sown (excluding invasive reed canarygrass Phalaris arundinacea). Sown species only established in plots where reed canarygrass had been controlled with herbicide before sowing. Methods: One hundred and sixty 25-m2 plots were established across two canarygrass-invaded wet meadows. All plots were sown with a mix of grass and forb seeds in May 2001, 2002 or 2003 (further details not reported). Most (140) plots had been burned and/or sprayed with herbicide in the year(s) before sowing to control reed canarygrass. Vegetation was surveyed in August, one and two growing seasons after sowing.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  4. Use herbicide to control problematic plants: freshwater marshes

    A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled study in 2000–2004 in two wet meadows invaded by reed canarygrass Phalaris arundinacea in Minnesota, USA (Reinhardt Adams & Galatowitsch 2006) found that plots sprayed with herbicide contained less overall plant biomass than unsprayed plots after 2–3 growing seasons, but more non-canarygrass plant biomass. Two to three growing seasons after the last herbicide application, sprayed plots contained less total above-ground plant biomass (320–720 g/m2) than unsprayed plots (520–900 g/m2). Sprayed plots contained less reed canarygrass biomass (10–480 g/m2) than unsprayed plots (420–880 g/m2). However, they contained more biomass of other plants. This was true for total biomass of sown species (sprayed: 0–70 g/m2; unsprayed: 0 g/m2) and species that had not been sown (sprayed: 170–550 g/m2; unsprayed: 30–100 g/m2). Methods: In the early 2000s, one hundred and sixty 25-m2 plots were established, in 40 sets of four, across two canarygrass-invaded wet meadows. One hundred and twenty plots (three random plots/set) were sprayed with herbicide (Roundup® Ultra): in late May, August or September and in one or two years. The remaining 40 plots were not sprayed. Half of the plots under each herbicide treatment were also burned in mid-May. All plots were sown with a mixture of grass and forb seeds in the spring after the final herbicide application. Dry biomass samples were taken in August in the two years after herbicide application.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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