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Effects of Growth Regulator Herbicide on Downy Brome (Bromus tectorum) Seed Production

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Previous research showed growth regulator herbicides, such as picloram and aminopyralid, have a sterilizing effect on Japanese brome (Bromus japonicus Thunb.) that can reduce this invasive annual grass’s seed production nearly 100%. This suggests growth regulators might be used to control invasive annual grasses by depleting their short-lived seed banks. The goal of this study was to extend the previous Japanese brome research to downy brome (Bromus tectorum L.), the most damaging invasive annual grass of U.S. grasslands. In a greenhouse, we found picloram did not greatly influence downy brome seed production, while point estimates suggest aminopyralid reduced seed production 55 to 80%. If not for a highly abnormal retillering response that we somewhat doubt would occur in the field, point estimates suggest aminopyralid would have reduced downy brome seed production approximately 90% when applied at the heading stage and approximately 98% when applied at three earlier growth stages. Our greenhouse study should encourage field studies designed to further explore the potential for using growth regulators to control downy brome and other invasive annual grasses.
Matthew J. Rinella , Robert A. Masters , Susan E. Bellows
USDA Scientist Submission
Invasive plant science and management 2013 Jan.-Mar. v.6 no.1
Weed Science Society of America
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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