Skip to main content Accessibility help

Population Modeling Approach for Evaluating Leafy Spurge (Euphorbia esula) Development and Control

  • Bruce D. Maxwell (a1), Mark V. Wilson (a2) and Steven R. Radosevich (a1)


Weed population models can serve as a framework to organize weed biology information and to develop weed control strategies. Models help to identify information gaps, to set research priorities, to develop hypotheses pertinent to weed population regulation, and to suggest control strategies. A population simulation model of leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula L. # EPHES) was used to demonstrate the applicability of population models to weed science. Sensitivity analysis of an existing leafy spurge model indicated that transition from basal buds to vegetative shoots, survival of vegetative shoots, and survival of basal buds over winter were important transition parameters influencing population growth of this weed species. Possible mechanisms (intraspecific competition and environmental factors) that influence the transition from basal buds to vegetative shoots were shown. Intraspecific density effects on basal bud transition and production were included to show model refinement and second-generation model development. Four control strategies were simulated and were compared to field studies to show the predictive and management potential of the modeling approach. Simulations of population response to foliage feeding herbivores was highly correlated (r = 0.98) with field data for sheep grazing on leafy spurge. Simulation of picloram (4-amino-3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinecarboxylic acid) applied to leafy spurge also was correlated (r = 0.97) with field results.



Hide All
1. Abrahamson, W. G. 1980. Demography and vegetative reproduction. p. 89106 in Solbrig, O. T., ed. Demography and Evolution in Plant Populations. Univ. Calif. Press, Berkeley.
2. Bowes, G. G., and Molberg, F. S. 1975. Picloram for the control of leafy spurge. Can. J. Plant Sci. 55:10231027.
3. Bowes, G. G., and Thomas, A. G. 1978. Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula L.) control based on a population model. Proc. 1st. Int. Rangeland Congr., p. 254256.
4. Bowes, G. G., and Thomas, A. G. 1978. Longevity of leafy spurge seed in the soil following various control programs. J. Range Manage. 31:137140.
5. Cousens, R. D. 1986. The use of population models in the study of the economics of weed control. Proc. European Weed Res. Soc. Symp. 1986, Econ. Weed Control, p. 269276.
6. Dunn, P. H. 1985. Origins of leafy spurge in North America. p. 713 in Watson, A. K., ed. Leafy Spurge. Weed Sci. Soc. Am., Champaign, IL.
7. Harper, J. L., and Sagar, G. R. 1953. Some aspects of the ecology of buttercups in permanent grasslands. Proc. Br. Weed Control Conf. 1:256265.
8. Holler, L. C., and Abrahamson, W. G. 1977. Seed and vegetative reproduction in relation to density in Fragaria virginiana (Rosaceae). Am. J. Bot. 64.10031007.
9. Lefkovitch, L. P. 1967. A theoretical evaluation of population growth after removing individuals from some age groups. Bull. Entomol. Res. 57:437445.
10. Leslie, P. H. 1945. On the use of matrices in certain population mathematics. Biometrika 33:183213.
11. McIntyre, G. I. 1979. Developmental studies on Euphorbia esula. Evidence of competition for water as a factor in the mechanism of root bud inhibition. Can. J. Bot. 57:25722581.
12. Messersmith, C. G. 1983. The leafy spurge plant. N. D. Farm Res. 40(5):37.
13. Mortimer, A. M. 1983. On weed demography. p. 340 in Fletcher, W. W., ed. Recent Advances in Weed Research. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux, England.
14. Mortimer, A. M., McMahon, D. J., Manlove, R. K., and Putwain, P. D. 1980. The prediction of weed infestations and cost of differing control strategies. In Proc. 1980 Br. Crop Prot. Conf.-Weeds 415423.
15. Nissen, S. J., and Foley, M. E. 1987. Correlative inhibition and dormancy in root buds of leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula). Weed Sci. 35:155159.
16. Raju, M.V.S. 1975. Experimental studies on leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula L.) I. Ontogeny and distribution of buds and shoots on the hypocotyl. Bot. Gaz. 136:254261.
17. Raju, M.V.S., and Marchuk, W. N. 1977. Experimental studies on leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula L.) III. Xylem development in relation to the hypocotylary bud growth. Bot. Gaz. 138:264–261.
18. Sagar, G. R., and Mortimer, A. M. 1976. An apprach to the study of the population dynamics of plants with special reference to weeds. Ann. Appl. Biol. 1:147.
19. Sarukhan, J., and Gadgil, M. 1974. Studies on plant demography: Ranuculus repens L., R. bulbosus L. and R. acris L. III. A mathematical model incorporating multiple modes of reproduction. J Ecol. 62:921936.
20. Selleck, G. W., Coupland, R. T., and Frankton, C. 1962. Leafy spurge in Saskatchewan. Ecol. Monogr. 32:129.
21. Thomas, A. G., and Dale, H. M. 1975. The role of seed reproduction in the dynamics of established populations of Hieracium floribundum and a comparison with that of vegetative reproduction. Can. J. Bot. 53:30223031.
22. Watson, A. K. 1985. Integrated management of leafy spurge. p. 93104 in Watson, A. K., ed. Leafy Spurge. Weed Sci. Soc. Am., Champaign, IL.
23. Werner, P. A., and Caswell, H. 1977. Population growth rates and age versus stage-distribution models for teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris Huds.). Ecol. 58:11031111.



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed