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    Sulfur cinquefoil is an exotic, perennial forb that invades a wide range of ecosystems in western North America. It forms dense populations and often threatens native plant species and communities. In this study, we address the following questions: (1) what herbicides, rates, and application times are most effective at reducing sulfur cinquefoil abundance while having the least impact on native plants and (2) does postherbicide seeding with native grass species increase native plant abundance? In 2002, we experimentally examined the effects of five herbicides (dicamba + 2,4~D; metsulfuron-methyl; triclopyr; glyphosate; and picloram) at two rates of application (low and high), three application times (early summer, fall, and a combined early summer-fall treatment), and two postherbicide seed addition treatments (seeded or not seeded) on sulfur cinquefoil abundance, plant community composition, and species richness. Experimental plots were monitored through 2005. Picloram was the most effective herbicide at reducing sulfur cinquefoil density, the proportion of remaining adult plants, and seed production. The effects of picloram continued to be evident after 3 yr, with 80-percent reduction of sulfur cinquefoil in 2005. In addition, seeding of native grass seeds alone (no herbicide application) reduced the proportion of sulfur cinquefoil plants that were reproductively active. Despite reductions in sulfur cinquefoil abundance, all treatments remained dominated by exotic species because treated areas transitioned from exotic forb- to exotic grass-dominated communities. However, a one-time herbicide application controlled sulfur cinquefoil for at least 3 yr, and therefore might provide a foundation to begin ecological restoration. Herbicide applications alone likely are to be insufficient for long-term sulfur cinquefoil control without further modification of sites through native grass or forb seeding. Integrating herbicides with native plant seeding to promote the development of plant communities that are resistant to sulfur cinquefoil invasion is a promising management approach to ecological restoration.

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    Endress, Bryan A.; Parks, Catherine G.; Naylor, Bridgett J.; Radosevich, Steven R. 2008. Herbicide and native grass seeding effects on sulfur cinquefoil (Potentilla recta)-infested grasslands. Invasive Plant Science and Management. 1: 50-58


    Rangeland, restoration, species richness, plant community dynamics, sulfur cinquefoil, bunchgrass

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