Nonnative annual brome invasion is a major problem in many ecosystems throughout the semiarid Intermountain West, decreasing production and biodiversity. Herbicides are the most widely used control technique but can have negative effects on co-occurring species. Graminicides, or grass-specific herbicides, may be able to control annual bromes without harming forbs and shrubs in restoration settings, but limited studies have addressed this potential. This study focused on evaluating the efficacy of glyphosate and four graminicides to control annual bromes, specifically downy brome and Japanese brome. In a greenhouse, glyphosate and four graminicides (clethodim, sethoxydim, fluazifop-P-butyl, and quizalofop-P-ethyl) were applied at two rates to downy brome plants of different heights (Experiment 1) and to three accessions of downy brome and Japanese brome of one height (Experiment 2). All herbicides reduced downy brome biomass, with most effective control on plants of less than 11 cm and with less than 12 leaves. Overall, quizalofop-P-ethyl and fluazifop-P-butyl treatments were most effective, and glyphosate and sethoxydim treatments least effective. Accessions demonstrated variable response to herbicides: the downy brome accession from the undisturbed site was more susceptible to herbicides than downy brome from the disturbed accession and Japanese brome accessions. These results demonstrate the potential for graminicides to target these annual bromes in ecosystems where they are growing intermixed with desired forbs and shrubs.
Nomenclature: Glyphosate; quizalofop-P-ethyl; fluazifop-P-butyl; clethodim; sethoxydim; downy brome, Bromus tectorum L.; Japanese brome, Bromus japonicus Houtt