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Date of Award

2009

Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Charles G. Anderson

First Committee Member

Stacy Luthy

Second Committee Member

Mark Brunell

Third Committee Member

Dale McNeal

Abstract

The invasion of riparian habitats by the exotic plant, Arundo donax L., commonly known as the giant reed is one of the greatest threats to ecosystems in Central and Southern California. There have been several efforts to eradicate this plant with varying control methods. This study evaluated some previously known techniques of controlling the giant reed in addition to some novel methodologies to determine the most effective approach. The study site is a section of the Lower Calaveras River that transects University of the Pacific's campus and is a prime example of the devastation caused by the giant reed.

The project site was cut and cleared over a period of eight months and divided into fourteen plots. Seven different techniques including a control were selected and each treatment was randomly applied to two plots. The methods chosen were: "cut, resprout and spray", "cut-stem, spray", "chip and compost", "chip and tarp", "compost" and "compost and tarp". The response variables were the "mean regrowth height", "mean circumference of stalks" and the "number of resprouted stalks". A repeated measures ANOVA was used to analyze the response variables.

The "compost and tarp" method had the lowest number of resprouted stalks and was also significantly different from the control treatment. None of the other techniques were significantly different from the control but the "compost" method showed some promise. Based on this study, the "compost and tarp" technique is the most effective treatment. The data collection for this study was limited and future experiments should be conducted on a longer time scale to assess the effectiveness of these methods. Further research should also be conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of various biotic factors on the growth of A. donax, which could enhance the efficacy of methodologies currently used to control this introduced invasive plant.

Pages

76

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