A preliminary field trial to compare control techniques for invasive Berberis aquifolium in Belgian coastal dunes

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article

70 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Non-native Berberis aquifolium is an invasive species in Belgian coastal dunes. With its strong clonal growth through suckers, this evergreen shrub outcompetes native species and affects dune succession. To prevent further secondary spread and mitigate its impact, there was an urgent need for knowledge on the effectiveness of control measures, both at the plant and habitat level. Here, we report on a first control experiment. Individual B. aquifolium clones were subjected to one of four treatments (manual uprooting, foliar herbicide application, stem cutting followed by herbicide or salt application), with regrowth being measured up to one year after treatment. We analyzed the relationship between kill rate, treatment, dune area, plant volume and number of plant stems using a generalized linear model. Berberis aquifolium plants proved most susceptible to foliar herbicide application (5% glyphosate solution), resulting in 88% (64%–97%) of the clones dying after treatment. The predicted kill rate decreased with an increasing number of stems under all treatments. We discuss the limitations of our experiment and the potential for actual field application of the different treatments. We present some guidelines for future control that may become further refined as experience builds up and we provide some recommendations for tackling invasive alien species in Atlantic dune ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
Volume53
Pages (from-to)41-60
Number of pages20
ISSN1619-0033
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11-Dec-2019

Thematic list

  • Invasive species (nature management)
  • Invasive species (management)
  • Invasive species (species diversity)
  • Beaches and dunes
  • Thickets

EWI Biomedical sciences

  • B003-ecology
  • B004-botany

Taxonomic list

  • higher plants (Plantae)

Policy

  • species directed nature management

Geographic list

  • Belgium
  • Atlantic Flanders

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A preliminary field trial to compare control techniques for invasive Berberis aquifolium in Belgian coastal dunes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this