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Document Type

Peer-Review Article

Abstract

Dalmatian toadflax, Linaria dalmatica spp. dalmatica (L.) Mill. (Plantaginaceae) has invaded over one million hectares in the western United States and Canada, in habitats similar to its native range. Two field studies were conducted to examine the impact of simulated mowing or insect herbivory on L. dalmatica growth and reproduction. Simulated mowing over the duration of the study decreased L. dalmatica total biomass per square meter, significantly reduced the total number of fruits and flowers per square meter, and resulted in significantly shorter flowering stems in the simulated mowing plots than in their controls. Plants in plots attacked by Mecinus janthiniformis Toševski and Caldara (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) had significantly less biomass per square meter, significantly fewer total numbers of fruits and flowers per square meter, and significantly fewer reproductive structures per stem than plants in paired control plots over the duration of the study. Specifically, both management tactics resulted in a negative impact on this invasive plant. With repeated tissue removal or damage, a reduction in numbers of fruits and flowers per stem on both the stems subjected to simulated mowing and Mecinus-attacked stems relative to their controls suggests that long term stress effects on the plants may be similar. The results of these studies suggest that mowing may warrant further evaluation as a possible method of control in areas where M. janthiniformis release is not effective.

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Entomology Commons

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