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    Invasive species are a major threat to biodiversity, human health, and economies worldwide. Clonal growth is a common ability of most invasive plants. The clonal common milkweed Asclepias syriaca L. is the most widespread invasive species in Pannonic sand grasslands. Despite of being an invader in disturbed semi-natural vegetation, this plant prefers agricultural fields or plantations. Herbicide treatment could be one of the most cost-effective and efficient methods for controlling the extended stands of milkweed in both agricultural and protected areas. The invasion of milkweed stand was monitored from 2011 to 2017 in a strictly protected UNESCO biosphere reserve in Hungary, and a single herbicide treatment was applied in May 2014. This single treatment was successful only in a short-term but not in a long-term period, as the number of milkweed shoots decreased following herbicide treatment. The herbicide translocation by rhizomatic roots induced the damage of dormant bud banks. The surviving buds developing shoots, growth of the milkweed stand showed a slow regeneration for a longer-term period. We concluded that the successful control of milkweed after herbicide treatment depends on repeated management of treated areas to suppress further spreading during subsequent seasons.


    László Bakacsy, István Bagi. Survival and regeneration ability of clonal common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca L.) after a single herbicide treatment in natural open sand grasslands. Scientific reports. 2020 Aug 26;10(1):14222

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    PMID: 32848181

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