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A Meta-analysis of Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense) Management

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 March 2018

Stacy Davis*
Research Associate, Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA
Jane Mangold
Associate Professor, Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA
Fabian Menalled
Professor, Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA
Noelle Orloff
Associate Extension Specialist, Schutter Diagnostic Lab, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA
Zach Miller
Assistant Professor and Superintendent, Western Agricultural Research Center, Montana State University, Corvallis, MT, USA
Erik Lehnhoff
Assistant Professor, Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Weed Science, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, USA
Author for correspondence: Stacy Davis, Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717. (Email:


Although stand-alone and integrated management techniques have been cited as viable approaches to managing Canada thistle [Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop.], it continues to impact annual cropping and perennial systems worldwide. We conducted meta-analyses assessing effectiveness of management techniques and herbicide mechanism of action groups for controlling C. arvense using 55 studies conducted in annual cropping systems and 45 studies in perennial systems. Herbicide was the most studied technique in both types of systems and was effective at reducing C. arvense. However, integrated multitactic techniques, with or without herbicides, were more effective than sole reliance on herbicides for long-term control in both annual cropping and perennial systems. A variety of management techniques such as biocontrol, crop diversification, mowing, and soil disturbance provided control similar to that of herbicide. Our results suggest that many management techniques aimed at reducing C. arvense can also improve crop yield or abundance of desired plants. This study highlights the need to devote more research to nonchemical and integrated management approaches for C. arvense control.

Weed Management
© Weed Science Society of America, 2018 

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