Study

Using sheep to control purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)

  • Published source details Kleppel G.S. & LaBarge E. (2011) Using sheep to control purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). Invasive Plant Science and Management, 4, 50-57.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use grazing to control problematic plants: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Use grazing to control problematic plants: freshwater marshes

    A replicated, paired, controlled, before-and-after study in 2008 in a wet meadow invaded by purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria and reed canarygrass Phalaris arundinacea in New York State, USA (Kleppel & LaBarge 2011) found that grazed paddocks had higher plant species richness and greater cover of non-invasive plants than ungrazed paddocks. After two months, grazed paddocks contained more plant species in total (grazed: 25; ungrazed: 20 species/20 m2) and per quadrat (grazed: 4.0; ungrazed: 2.6 species/0.25 m2). Grazed paddocks had lower cover than ungrazed paddocks of the key invasive species: purple loosestrife (grazed: 20%; ungrazed: 65%) and reed canarygrass (grazed: 20%; ungrazed: 50%). Accordingly, grazed paddocks had higher cover of other grass-like plants (40%) than ungrazed paddocks (20%). Before intervention, cover of these plant groups was statistically similar in paddocks destined for each treatment (loosestrife: 50%; canarygrass: 43–45%; other grass-like plants: 20–30%). Methods: Four pairs of 200-m2 paddocks were established in an invaded wet meadow. Between 16 June and 3 August 2008, one plot/pair was rotationally grazed by sheep (two ewes/paddock for 2–3 days every two weeks). Detailed vegetation surveys were carried out after intervention (mid-August 2008; 20 quadrats/paddock). Cover was also surveyed before intervention (early June 2008).

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 19

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.


Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust