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Evaluating the response of invasive flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus) cytotypes to chemical control measures
Proceedings of the 2022 Mississippi Water Resources Conference

Year: 2022 Authors: Hockensmith J., Turnage G., Shoemaker C.

Establishment and spread of invasive species has affected ecosystems across the globe. These intruders compete with native species for resources, which often leads to reduced biodiversity as well as other environmental issues. Flowering Rush (Butomus umbellatus) is one such species that has invaded the northern United States and Canada. Flowing Rush is a perennial, aquatic species that can be found growing along the shoreline of lakes and other waterbodies. In North America, two distinct cytotype populations occur: diploid and triploid. These cytotypes differ in key anatomical and physiological properties. Despite these differences, current best management practices of chemical control are based solely off research conducted on triploid populations, which account for only 29% of flowering rush populations in North America. In this study, we assessed the effect of two commonly used chemical control measures for aquatic plants, Diquat and Endothall, on diploid and triploid cytotypes. After establishment and subsequent herbicide application, plants were followed to eight weeks post treatment. At this time the plants were harvested to assess the efficacy of the treatments on above- and belowground biomass accumulation, in addition to belowground asexual rhizomatous bud production. We observed that when treated with herbicides, bud production in diploid plants increased, while bud production in triploid plants was unaffected. Additionally, in diploid Flowering Rush, higher concentrations of Diquat and Endothall increased bud production compared to control and low concentration treatments. Both Diquat and Endothall reduced the overall above- and belowground biomass. Our results suggest that diploid and triploid populations display different reactions to chemical controls and that further research is needed to elucidate these differences.

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