Integrating Selective Herbicide and Native Plant Restoration to Control Alternanthera philoxeroides (Alligator Weed) Page: 1
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Spread and invasion by non-indigenous species is an expanding global problem. In the
U.S. alone, expensive prevention and eradication techniques costing hundreds of billions of
dollars annually are employed to stop the environmental, agricultural, and health damages these
invaders can cause (Bertness 1984, Vitousek et al. 1987, Mack et al. 2000, Pimentel et al. 2005,
Lodge et al. 2006). Invasive non-indigenous aquatic plants are particularly difficult to control
due to their ability to move easily through aquatic and riparian corridors, invade and dominate
disturbed habitat, and reproduce vegetatively from fragments carried downstream (Hobbs and
Huenneke 1992, Madsen and Smith 1997, Boose and Holt 1999, Hood and Naiman 2000). Alien
aquatic weeds often out-compete native species, consequently altering important ecosystem
processes (Madsen et al. 1991, Cheruvelil et al. 2001, Urgenson et al. 2009). As the movement to
protect wetlands and other aquatic ecosystems continues to grow, so too does the need to
establish new tools for combating invasion of non-indigenous aquatic plants.
Integrated pest management (IPM) strategies began to develop in the 1950's in response
to concerns over "undisciplined" and sometimes "unrestrained" use of chemical pesticides in
agriculture (Castle et al. 2009). Modern IPM combines multiple control methods and integration
of pest biology knowledge in an attempt to more efficiently manage target species (Buhler et al.
2000). Many IPM strategies are employed to increase effectiveness of natural enemies, therefore
reducing dependence on chemical control. For example, modern insecticides tailored to specific
insect pests that do not adversely affect natural predators can be used to keep natural predation
viable (Gentz et al. 2010). Another strategy involves installation of "banker plants" amongst
crops that, through carrying a non-pest food source, aid in attracting, retaining, or dispersal of
natural enemies for biological control (Pineda et al. 2008). Some IPM strategies integrate
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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/m1/8/: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .