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Evaluating Tolerance of Herbicide and Transplantation by Cane (a Native Bamboo) for Canebrake Restoration


N. A. Klaus, email


Canebrakes (bamboo grasslands dominated by Arundinaria spp.) were once a widespread ecosystem across the Southeastern United States, and many species of wildlife depended upon them. Early settlers replaced this system with subsistence agriculture and today few canebrakes remain. The restoration of canebrakes is critical to the recovery of several wildlife species; however, restoration is complicated because (1) seed is uncommon and often predated, (2) competition from hardwood species, including the exotic Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinesnse), often prevent cane establishment, and (3) cane depends on disturbance regimes that have been disrupted in the Southeast. We investigated the tolerance of Switch cane (Arundinaria tecta) to four commonly used herbicides that are effective at controlling privet and other hardwoods: hexazinone (Velpar-L), glyphosate (Razor Pro), triclopyr (Garlon 3A), and imazapyr (Chopper). We also investigated the possibility of transplanting cane culms, and the factors affecting successful transplant. Cane tolerated hexazinone and triclopyr but was damaged or killed by glyphosate and imazapyr. Although many measures of weather and cane condition were not predictors of transplant success, the Keetch–Byram drought index was a strong predictor, and is available through most state forestry offices. Selective herbicides and deliberately timed transplantation may be important canebrake restoration tools.