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Evaluation of perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) management in a seasonal wetland in the San Francisco Estuary prior to restoration of tidal hydrology

Abstract

Herbicide applications have shown potential for control and management of invasive perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) in rangelands and tidal wetlands. However, reported efficacy of management methods varies widely, and the effects of more recently registered aquatic herbicides on non-target vegetation in riparian corridors and seasonal wetlands are poorly understood. In a replicated field experiment, we applied two registered aquatic herbicides to control L. latifolium upstream of a sensitive tidal wetland reserve as a preliminary step towards hydrologic restoration of a degraded ephemeral creek channel and associated seasonal wetlands. Herbicide treatments (imazapyr, 2,4-d) were applied at flower bud stage in May 2007 and monitored at 1 and 2 years following application. Two years of 2,4-d application were not effective in controlling L. latifolium (<1% control) but had minimal non-target impacts on the native plant community. Imazapyr reduced L. latifolium cover by more than 90% after 1 year of treatment as compared to untreated controls although non-target impacts on the native plant community were severe and persistent over the 2 years of observation. These results provide important information about the response of L. latifolium to management trials in a seasonal wetland and will be used to develop an integrated and adaptive management strategy for weed control as a component of a proposed tidal marsh restoration plan.

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Acknowledgments

We thank field assistants and laboratory helpers, especially J. Schneider, D. Talley, J. Burns, J. Pompa, B. Wallace, K. Poerner, J. Olson, and S. Kaff. Special thanks go to C. J. Futrell (USDA) for soil sample analyses. Thanks also to anonymous reviewers for helpful comments. This publication was prepared in cooperation with the California Bay-Delta Authority for research funded under California Bay-Delta Authority Agreement No. U-04-SC-005 to CRW. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of any of those organizations. Access to the study site was granted by the Solano Land Trust and SF Bay NERR.

Funding sources

This publication was prepared in cooperation with the California Bay-Delta Authority for research funded under California Bay-Delta Authority Agreement No. U-04-SC-005 to CRW. The study sponsor had no involvement in the data collection, analysis and interpretation nor in the writing of the article. In addition, the study sponsor did not control or influence our decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

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Correspondence to Christine R. Whitcraft.

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Whitcraft, C.R., Grewell, B.J. Evaluation of perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) management in a seasonal wetland in the San Francisco Estuary prior to restoration of tidal hydrology. Wetlands Ecol Manage 20, 35–45 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11273-011-9239-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11273-011-9239-x

Keywords

  • Lepidium latifolium
  • Restoration
  • Weed management
  • Herbicide