Brazilian peppertree and mangrove species response to foliar-applied novel auxin-type herbicides.
Brazilian peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolia Raddi) is an invasive shrub that is problematic in both freshwater wetlands and brackish mangrove communities. The complex structure, geographic remoteness, and general herbicide sensitivity of mangrove systems have resulted in great technical challenges for managers attempting selective S. terebinthifolia control. Recent advances in auxin herbicide technologies warrant herbicide screening to address this growing problem. Therefore, greenhouse experiments were conducted in 2018 and 2019 to evaluate four non-target mangrove species and S. terebinthifolia response to the three herbicides: aminocyclopyrachlor, aminopyralid, and florpyrauxifen-benyzl. Aminocyclopyrachlor controlled S. terebinthifolia, but was highly injurious to black mangrove [Avicennia germinans (L.) L.], red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle L.), white mangrove [Laguncularia racemosa (L.) C.F. Gaertn.], and buttonwood mangrove (Conocarpus erectus L.). Aminopyralid also controlled S. terebinthifolia but its impact varied across mangrove species. Laguncularia racemosa and C. erectus were highly sensitive to aminopyralid, R. mangle exhibited dose-dependent tolerance, and A. germinans was highly tolerant. Florpyrauxifen-benzyl failed to control S. terebinthifolia and resulted in severe injury to all four mangrove species. These results indicate differential responses to newer auxins in both the target response and non-target plant community of interest. The efficacy of aminopyralid on S. terebinthifolia, coupled with its selectivity on A. germinans warrants further testing.