Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Trial of herbicide control methods for sisal Agave sisalana in the arid island environment of Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles

Published source details

van Dinther M., Bunbury N. & Kaiser-Bunbury C.N. (2015) Trial of herbicide control methods for sisal Agave sisalana in the arid island environment of Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles. Conservation Evidence, 12, 14-18

Summary

Sisal Agave sisalana is an invasive alien plant species of concern at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles. Physical control efforts since the 1970s to remove sisal from Aldabra have only been partially successful because the roots cannot be completely removed, resulting in continuous control efforts. We conducted a seven month herbicide trial, using different herbicide concentrations with two application methods, to determine the most effective and feasible control method for sisal. We also checked effects on surrounding native plants. The highest treatment mortality was from 50% herbicide concentration applied directly to the cut growth tip, which resulted in 80% sisal mortality after four months. Fewer treated plants died at lower herbicide concentrations and more small plants died than large plants. No sisal plant died that was foliar sprayed, only cut, or in the control group. There were no visible negative effects of any treatment on the surrounding native flora. The results indicate that chemical control of sisal is effective at high herbicide concentration applied directly to the cut growth tip. A full-scale eradication of sisal from Aldabra has been started based on the trial results.