Evaluation of tilling and herbicide treatment for control of wild chervil (Anthriscus sylvestris (L.) Hoffm.) in metro Vancouver regional parks

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Shantz, Kevin
Wild chervil (Anthriscus sylvestris) is an invasive plant and a member of the Carrot family (Apiaceae). This species concerns natural resource managers because it reduces hay forage quality and adversely alters terrestrial ecosystems. Metro Vancouver was interested in the effectiveness of two treatment methods to reduce wild chervil productivity in Regional Parks. Identification of a pasture grass, or combination thereof, best able to restore habitat conditions to traditionally-managed ‘old-field’ mostly free of wild chervil and fit for hay production was also of interest. Thus, efficacy of two treatment types (tilling and herbicide) and two application periods (late spring and summer 2016) on high and low density sites were examined through a Randomized Complete Block Design with five blocks located in Campbell Valley Regional Park. A second experiment tested restoration productivity of seeded pasture grass using timothy (Phleum pretense), tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) and orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata). There was a significant difference in mean wild chervil biomass among herbicide, tilling and controls. However, no significant difference was detected in biomass of regenerated wild chervil between tilling and herbicide treatments; but both treatments significantly reduced biomass of wild chervil compared to controls. Herbicide was found to significantly decrease wild chervil productivity yet only when coupled with seeding, seeding did not benefit tilling-only treatments to the same extent. Analysis of variance revealed no significant differences in biomass of post-treatment seeded grass used in restoration; all species effectively established themselves outcompeting wild chervil re-growth following treatment. A blended approach of pre-bloom cutting followed by early spring and drought season tilling, post-treatment grass seeding, along with herbicide application for spot-treatment or inaccessible areas was recommended.
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