The impact of the herbicide glyphosate on leaf litter invertebrates within Bitou bush, Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp rotundata, infestations.

Research paper by Elizabeth A EA Lindsay, Kris K French

Indexed on: 04 Dec '04Published on: 04 Dec '04Published in: Pest Management Science


Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp rotundata (L) T Norl (Bitou bush) is a serious environmental weed along the southeast coast of Australia. The herbicide glyphosate is commonly used to control C monilifera on the New South Wales coastline, but there have been few studies examining the effects of this herbicide on invertebrate communities in the field, especially on sand dunes. Control and impact sites were selected in coastal hind dunes heavily infested with C monilifera, and the impact sites were sprayed with a 1:100 v/v dilution of glyphosate-isopropyl 360 g AE litre(-1) SL (Roundup Biactive). Leaf litter invertebrates were sampled before spraying and after spraying by collecting fixed areas of leaf litter in both the control and impact sites. Samples were sorted for particular invertebrates involved in leaf litter decomposition and some of their predators. This study did not identify any significant direct or indirect effects on leaf litter invertebrate abundance or community composition in the four months following herbicide application. The litter invertebrate assemblages were highly variable on a small spatial scale, with abiotic factors more strongly regulating leaf litter invertebrate numbers than glyphosate application. These results conflict with previous studies, indicating that the detrimental indirect effects herbicide application has on non-target litter invertebrates may depend upon the application rate, the vegetation community and structure and post-spray weather.