Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Biological control of the invasive alien weed Solidago canadensis: combining an indigenous fungal isolate of Sclerotium rolfsii SC64 with mechanical control.

Abstract

Solidago canadensis L. is a major invasive weed that is highly tolerant to disturbances and difficult to control in China. In order to develop a rapid non-chemical control strategy for this weed in heterogeneous environments, we investigated different treatments including mechanical control (cutting and hoeing) and inoculation with an indigenous pathogen, Sclerotium rolfsii SC64, which was isolated from S. canadensis and applied by means of a solid formulation. Greenhouse and field trials were conducted to test how the control regimes (i.e. individual treatment methods, combination of these methods and different treatment timing) influence control efficiency. The fungal isolate S. rolfsii SC64 caused 70% plant mortality and fresh weight reduction of S. canadensis under 150 cm growth stage, and efficacy increased to 80% when the above-ground material was removed. However, the use of cutting, hoeing or treating with S. rolfsii SC64, on its own, did not provide sufficient control of S. canadensis. Cutting treatments performed in July and September only eliminated sexual reproduction of S. canadensis. Combination of cutting, hoeing and treating with isolate SC64 during the growing season in May, July and September was able to kill more than 90% of the ramets. This combination of methods not only eliminated sexual reproduction of S. canadensis, but also destroyed its underground stems and prevented its regrowth. Therefore, this integrated approach may provide an optima control strategy for S. canadensis.