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Comparing field-based management approaches for invasive Winter Heliotrope (Petasites pyrenaicus: Asteraceae)


Jones, Daniel; Fowler, Mike S.; Hocking, Sophie; Eastwood, Daniel (2022), Comparing field-based management approaches for invasive Winter Heliotrope (Petasites pyrenaicus: Asteraceae), Dryad, Dataset,


Winter Heliotrope (Petasites pyrenaicus, previously P. fragrans), is a persistent, rhizome-forming species found throughout the Mediterranean region and North Africa and is an Invasive Alien Plant (IAP) in the UK and Ireland. P. pyrenaicus excludes native flora by forming a dense, compact canopy that persists for much of the growing season, and is often found growing in rough ground, riparian areas and along communication routes, incurring significant management costs at sites of conservation interest. Our study describes the first field-based assessment of P. pyrenaicus control treatments, testing 12 physical and/or chemical treatments in replicated 1 m2 plots over four years and one chemical treatment over three years. Treatments focused on understanding phenology and resource allocation to exploit rhizome source-sink relationships in P. pyrenaicus. Multiple-stage glyphosate- and picloram-based treatments reduced leaf canopy cover to zero (%) over time, though no treatment completely eradicated P. pyrenaicus. When designing management strategies, effective P. pyrenaicus control may be achieved by a single annual soil and/or foliar application of picloram at 1.34 kg AE ha-1 in spring, or by a single annual foliar application of glyphosate in spring at 2.16 kg AE ha-1. Control is not improved by the addition of other herbicides or physical treatment methods, underlining the importance of these herbicides for perennial invasive plant management. This work confirms the importance of considering plant phenology, resource allocation and rhizome source-sink relationships, to increase treatment efficacy and reduce the environmental impacts associated with the management of P. pyrenaicus and other invasive, rhizome forming species.