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Pest management science

Investigating the phytotoxicity of the graminicide fluazifop-P-butyl against native UK wildflower species.


PMID 21972119

Abstract

The selective graminicide fluazifop-P-butyl is used for the control of grass weeds in dicotyledonous crops, and commonly applied in amenity areas to reduce grass productivity and promote wildflower establishment. However, evidence suggests that fluazifop-P-butyl might also have phytotoxic effects on some non-target plants. This study investigates the effects of fluazifop-P-butyl on the emergence, phytotoxicity and above-ground biomass of nine perennial wildflower species and two grass species, following pre- and post-emergent applications at half, full and double label rates in a series of glasshouse experiments. While pre- and post-emergent applications of fluazifop-P-butyl caused reductions in seedling emergence and increased phytotoxicity on native wildflower and grass species, these effects were temporary for the majority of wildflower species tested, and generally only occurred at the double application rate. No differences in biomass were observed at any of the rates, suggesting good selectivity and no long-term effects of fluazifop-P-butyl application on the wildflower species from either pre-emergent or post-emergent applications. These results have direct relevance to the management of amenity areas for biodiversity, as they confirm the suitability of these wildflower species for inclusion in seed mixtures where fluazifop-P-butyl is to be applied to control grass productivity.

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