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Evaluation of Sand Stockpiles as Potential Sources of Cranberry Weeds

  • Joanne Mason (a1), Hilary A. Sandler (a1) and Laura K. Hunsberger (a2)


Sand stockpiles, located near commercial cranberry beds in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Washington, and Wisconsin, were sampled quarterly over a 2-yr period. Samples were collected from the surface and the interior of the piles. Utilizing a simple greenhouse germination bioassay, 74 plant species representing 23 plant families were identified across all locations and samples. Plant density varied by region and by sampling depth; species richness varied by region only. More seedlings germinated from samples taken from the surface of the stockpile compared with interior samples. Almost half of all species detected in either surface or interior samples were represented by only one seedling. Fifty-nine percent of the plant species from Massachusetts and New Jersey samples, and 79% and 96% of the plant species from Wisconsin and Washington, respectively, were considered to be weeds in cranberry production. Only one-third of the identified species had wind-blown seeds; seed dispersal was by other mechanisms in almost half of the species. This survey documented the weed management implications of spreading stockpiled sand on cranberry bogs for horticultural or pest management purposes. To minimize the introduction of additional weed problems, growers and integrated pest management consultants should evaluate the seedbank potential of a stockpile prior to application of the sand to the production area.


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