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Ragweed Control Techniques: Effect on Old-Field Plant Populations
Alan J. Lewis
Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club
Vol. 100, No. 6 (Nov. - Dec., 1973), pp. 333-338
Published by: Torrey Botanical Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2484099
Page Count: 6
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Studies were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of artificial (chemical or mechanical), as compared to natural, population control of common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.). The studies were also designed to show the effect of artificial ragweed control techniques on associated plant populations. During the summer of 1969 field plots in the first and third year of succession were mowed, burned, sprayed with 2,4-D, mowed and then burned, or sprayed with 2,4-D and then buined. All tieatments applied to first- and third-year field plots caused a significant reduction in the percent cover of ragweed by the end of the first summer, with the exception of the burn treatment in the first-year plots. With this exception, there was no treatment which was significantly better than any other on the basis of ragweed removal alone. A year after application there was no treatment group with a significantly lower ragweed density, cover, frequency, or biomass/m2 than that found in the control. The control response showed that in the absence of treatment, ragweed was displaced naturally through successional processes. Examination of the entire vegetational system showed that maximum disruption occurred during the summer of treatment application. The response in all first- and third-year plots, with the exception of the burn treatment in the first-year field, was an increase in graminoid cover coupled with a decrease in non-graminoid cover. A year after treatment, cover of perennials in first-year plots was significantly decreased. In third-year plots which had been sprayed, there was a significantly lower cover of nongraminoids and a higher cover of annual grasses. On the basis of these results, it is recommended that in most cases newly disturbed areas which will advance successionally should not be chemically or mechanically manipulated for ragweed control.
Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club © 1973 Torrey Botanical Society