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1 January 2005 Perennial Grass Establishment Integrated with Clopyralid Treatment for Yellow Starthistle Management on Annual Range
STEPHEN F. ENLOE, JOSEPH M. DITOMASO, STEVE B. ORLOFF, DANIEL J. DRAKE
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Abstract

Yellow starthistle is an aggressive annual forb that has invaded millions of hectares of California's annual range. Control efforts such as burning and herbicides have been effective for short-term management. However, recruitment from the seedbank or reinvasion of the annual grassland system results in a rapid return to yellow starthistle dominance. Establishing perennial grasses would be ideal for suppression of yellow starthistle. However, a lack of effective weed control options in California during a seeding program has limited perennial grass establishment. Clopyralid was used to control yellow starthistle annually for 1, 2, or 3 yr to provide a window of reduced competition for pubescent wheatgrass establishment. Total plant cover, yellow starthistle density, biomass, and seedhead number were quantified for 6 yr. Clopyralid treatment significantly reduced yellow starthistle and allowed pubescent wheatgrass establishment with a single treatment. Both clopyralid treatment and pubescent wheatgrass establishment significantly affected the range plant community composition. Annual grasses and forbs increased in plots only treated with clopyralid for 2 or 3 yr, whereas clopyralid-treated pubescent wheatgrass plots maintained lower annual grass and forb cover. Integrating pubescent wheatgrass seeding with clopyralid treatment provided long-term yellow starthistle suppression, whereas clopyralid treatment alone resulted in a plant community susceptible to repeated invasion. These findings support the establishment of competitive perennial grasses in annual grasslands as an important component of long-term yellow starthistle management.

Nomenclature: Clopyralid; yellow starthistle, Centaurea solstitialis (L.) #3 CENSO; pubescent wheatgrass, Thinopyrum intermedium (Host. Barkworth and Dewey) Nevski var. ‘Luna’.

Additional index words: Integrated management, revegetation.

Abbreviation: MANOVA, multivariate analysis of variance.

STEPHEN F. ENLOE, JOSEPH M. DITOMASO, STEVE B. ORLOFF, and DANIEL J. DRAKE "Perennial Grass Establishment Integrated with Clopyralid Treatment for Yellow Starthistle Management on Annual Range," Weed Technology 19(1), 94-101, (1 January 2005). https://doi.org/10.1614/WT-03-262R1
Published: 1 January 2005
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