Effects of mechanical and chemical control on Microstegium vimineum and its associates in central West VirginiaThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Various studies have identified methods for effectively controlling Japanese stilt grass [Microstegium vimineum (Trin.) A. Camus]. However, the effect of M. vimineum control treatments on native flora has not been documented. This is of particular interest because an effective M. vimineum control method that minimizes impact on native vegetation should be considered the most desirable technique. This study investigates the effects of various control treatments on M. vimineum, and the associated native understory community, on an upland and bottomland hardwood site in central WV (38° 46’ 08”N, 81° 03’ 52”W). Control treatments examined in the study included: a low-volume glyphosate application (6 ounces per acre); both a single (early June) application and a double application (early June and August) of fenoxaprop-p-ethyl (13 ounces per acre); and mechanical control (weed whip). In the first growing season following the treatments, single applications of fenoxaprop-p-ethyl provided greater than 95 percent control of M. vimineum at both sites. Mechanical control also proved to be very effective. In addition to showing an increase in species diversity, fenoxaprop-p-ethyl treated plots also exhibited post-treatment species richness values that were significantly higher than all other treatments (P < 0.05). The results of this study suggest that this selective herbicide has the potential to be used to restore native plant communities in M. vimineum infested areas of mixed hardwood forests.