Integrating Selective Herbicide and Native Plant Restoration to Control Alternanthera philoxeroides (Alligator Weed) Page: 4
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one-third as compared to un-restored plots. In situations where re-introduction alone is not
enough to stop an invasion, manipulation of the competitive arena before re-introduction of
native species may be necessary to give native competitors a head start or competitive edge
(Perry and Galatowitsch 2003). Integrating herbicide treatments targeting an invasive weed prior
to, and after native plant reintroduction is a management option that may result in more effective
control than either technique used exclusively. Hubbard (1975) reported a 30% increase in native
grass dry matter yield in knapweed infested plots treated with herbicide previous to seeding as
compared to plots exposed to seeding only. Little information is available for applying this type
of IPM technique to invasive aquatic weeds.
Alligator weed, Alternantheraphiloxeroides, is a stoloniferous and rhizomatous perennial
weed native to South America (Sainty et al. 1998). The plant can grow under aquatic, semi-
aquatic, and terrestrial conditions. In water, hollow stems allow the plant to extend across deep
water to form dense floating mats (Julien et al. 1995). A. philoxeroides was first reported in the
United States in 1894, and although it may have reached the maximum extent of its range in the
US, A. philoxeroides has invaded many waterways, wetlands, irrigation canals, and low-lying
areas in California and much of the southeastern US (Maddox et al. 1971, Coulson 1977). A.
philoxeroides is classified as a noxious plant in seven states including Texas (USDA, NRCS
2010). In the United States, A. philoxeroides does not produce viable seeds; reproduction is
achieved vegetatively (Quimby and Kay 1977). Sections of stem containing a node are capable
of establishing a new colony (Vogt et al. 1992), and fragmentation readily occurs as a result of
mechanical or environmental disturbances such as harvest attempts or flooding. A. philoxeroides
invasions can reduce the economic and ecological value of a waterway. A. philoxeroides can
impede pump intakes for irrigation, restrict flow in small waterways leading to blockages and
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Adams, Justin. Integrating Selective Herbicide and Native Plant Restoration to Control Alternanthera philoxeroides (Alligator Weed), thesis, December 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103280/m1/11/: accessed January 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .