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Cogongrass in the United States: History, Ecology, Impacts, and Management

  • Hallie Dozier (a1), James F. Gaffney (a2), Sandra K. McDonald (a3), Eric R.R.L. Johnson (a4) and Donn G. Shilling (a4)...

Abstract

Cogongrass is a weed throughout the tropics and subtropics. Introductions early this century have spread into forests, rangelands, reclaimed mined areas, roadsides, and natural ecosystems in the southeastern United States. Vegetative reproduction is the primary mechanism for survival and local spread, and sexually produced seeds of this obligate outcrossing species provide natural long-distance dispersal. Highly germinable (≥ 90%) seeds have no dormancy, though spikelet fill may be low (≤ 40%) in natural populations. Early seedling establishment, prior to rhizome development, is low (< 20%), occurring in areas with little competition; ≥ 75% bahiagrass sod cover is required to prevent cogongrass seedling establishment. Imazapyr and glyphosate are the most effective herbicides for cogongrass control. Younger cogongrass shoots are very susceptible to these herbicides; however, longer term control of adult plants requires translocation and thereby control of the rhizomes. Autumn applications of glyphosate and imazapyr provided greatest suppression of rhizome regrowth. Effective cogongrass management options exist and depend on integrating several control strategies. Mechanical control alone provides short-term control, whereas multiple discings plus herbicide application provide longer term control. Some combinations of herbicide, discing, and revegetation with desirable plant species provide excellent control. Because of the large geographic area infested with cogongrass and the often economically and environmentally unacceptable management techniques, biological control organisms also should be researched.

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Keywords

Cogongrass in the United States: History, Ecology, Impacts, and Management

  • Hallie Dozier (a1), James F. Gaffney (a2), Sandra K. McDonald (a3), Eric R.R.L. Johnson (a4) and Donn G. Shilling (a4)...

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