Study

Herbiciding invasive reed: indirect effects on habitat conditions and snail-algal assemblages one year post-application

  • Published source details Back C.L., Holomuzki J.R., Klarer D.M. & Whyte R.S. (2012) Herbiciding invasive reed: indirect effects on habitat conditions and snail-algal assemblages one year post-application. Wetlands, 20, 419-431

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use herbicide to control problematic plants: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Use herbicide to control problematic plants: freshwater marshes

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2007–2008 in a freshwater marsh invaded by common reed Phragmites australis in Ohio, USA (Back et al. 2012) reported that plots sprayed with herbicide were more likely to contain free-growing filamentous algae than unsprayed plots, but found that all plots contained a similar abundance, diversity and community of biofilm algae. After approximately one year, free-growing algae occurred in 13 of 30 samples in sprayed plots (vs 1 of 15 samples in unsprayed plots; statistical significance not assessed). Meanwhile, biofilm algae reached a statistically similar abundance in sprayed and unsprayed plots. This was true for both density (sprayed: 1,700–2,800 cells/cm2; unsprayed: 1,100–1,700 cells/100 cm2) and biomass (sprayed: 5–41 μg chlorophyll/cm2; unsprayed: 5–41 μg chlorophyll/cm2). Sprayed and unsprayed plots also supported a similar diversity of biofilm algae (data reported as a diversity index) and a similar community composition of the most abundant group: diatoms (data reported as a graphical analysis; statistical significance of difference not assessed). Common reed was less abundant in sprayed than unsprayed plots, in terms of both density (sprayed: 2–3 live stems/m2; unsprayed: 36 live stems/m2) and cover (sprayed: 1–3%; unsprayed: 49%). Methods: In June 2007, fifteen contiguous 20 x 20 m plots were established in a reed-invaded, lakeshore marsh. Ten random plots were sprayed once with herbicide (five with glyphosate-based AquaNeat®; five with imazapyr-based Habitat®). The other five plots were not sprayed. Vegetation was surveyed in June–August 2008. Free-growing algae were surveyed in 10 x 10 cm quadrats. Biofilms were surveyed on fallen, submerged reed stems. Reeds were surveyed, in 0.5-m2 quadrats, along a central transect in each plot.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

Output references

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 18

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.


Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust