Non-target Impacts to Eelgrass from Treatments to Control Spartina in Willapa Bay, Washington

Major, Walter W III and Grue, Christian E. and Grassley, James M. and Conquest, Loveday L. (2004) Non-target Impacts to Eelgrass from Treatments to Control Spartina in Willapa Bay, Washington. Journal of Aquatic Plant Management, 42, pp. 11-17.

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Four methods to control the smooth cordgrass Spartina (Spartina alterniflora) and the footwear worn by treatment personnelat several sites in Willapa Bay, Washington were evaluatedto determine the non-target impacts to eelgrass (Zostera japonica). Clone-sized infestations of Spartina were treated bymowing or a single hand-spray application of Rodeo® formulatedat 480 g L-1acid equivalence (ae) of the isopropylaminesalt of glyphosate (Monsanto Agricultural Co., St. Louis, MO;currently Dow AgroSciences, Indianapolis, IN) with the nonionic surfactant LI 700® (2% v/v) or a combination of mowing and hand spraying. An aerial application of Rodeo® with X-77 Spreader® (0.13% v/v) to a 2-ha meadow was also investigated. Monitoring consisted of measuring eelgrass shoot densities and percent cover pre-treatment and 1-yr post-treatment. Impacts to eelgrass adjacent to treated clones were determined 1 m from the clones and compared to a control 5-m away. Impacts from footwear were assessed at 5 equidistant intervals along a 10-m transect on mudflat and an untreated control transect at each of the three clone treatment sites. Impacts from the aerial application were determined by comparing shoot densities and percent cover 1, 3 and 10 m from the edge of the treated Spartina meadow to that at comparable distances from an untreated meadow. Methods utilized to control Spartina clones did not impact surrounding eelgrass at two of three sites. Decreases in shoot densities observed at the third site were consistent across treatments. Most impacts to eelgrass from the footwear worn by treatment personnel were negligible and those that were significant were limited to soft mud substrate. The aerial application of the herbicide was associated with reductions in eelgrass (shoot density and percent cover) at two of the three sampling distances, but reductions on the control plot were greater. We conclude that the unchecked spread of Spartina is a far greater threat to the survival and health of eelgrass than that from any of the control measures we studied. The basis for evaluating control measures for Spartina should be efficacy and logistical constraints and not impacts to eelgrass. PDF is 7 pages.

Item Type: Article
Title: Non-target Impacts to Eelgrass from Treatments to Control Spartina in Willapa Bay, Washington
Personal Creator/Author:
Major, Walter W III
Grue, Christian E.
Grassley, James M.
Conquest, Loveday L.
Refereed: Yes
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Aquatic Plant Management
Volume: 42
Page Range: pp. 11-17
Date: 2004
Latitude: 46.7339
Longitude: -124.078
Issuing Agency: Aquatic Plant Management Society, Inc.
Uncontrolled Keywords: estuary; glyphosate; Zostera eelgrass; Spartina alterniflora; Rodeo®; non-target; Willapa Bay, Washington
Subjects: Ecology
Item ID: 1660
Depositing User: Jennifer Walton
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2008 23:48
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 20:13

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