Control and spread of Alligator Weed : lessons for other regionsAlternanthera philoxeroides: lessons for other regions (Mart.) Griseb., in Australia: lessons for other regions

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Abstract

Biological control of alligator weed Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb. has been successful in limiting growth in water in areas with mild or warm winters, but not on land. Until recently, herbicides have had very limited short term and no long term effectiveness. Several herbicides that now provide better control include: glyphosate over water, and metsulfuron and dichlobenil on land and in shallow water. The latter two are limited by lack of selectivity, contamination of water, and cost. Mechanical or manual control has provided local eradication of the weed at a few locations where infestations were small. Alligator weed is still spreading with new outbreaks on New South Wales, Australia (NSW) coastal beach areas and coastal river systems, and on inland waterbodies. Its use as a cultivated vegetable by some ethnic communities has resulted in many new locations in all eastern Australia states: Queensland to Tasmania. It is predicted that it will spread throughout much of coastal and inland southern Australia. The difficulties with management of this weed indicate that every effort should be made to prevent further invasion of wetlands and, in particular, its introduction to Africa, where it is predicted that all wetlands could support destructive levels of alligator weed growth.

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