Evaluation of herbicides for restoring native grasses in buffelgrass-dominated grasslands

  • Published source details Tjelmeland A.D., Fulbright T.E. & Lloyd-Reilley J. (2008) Evaluation of herbicides for restoring native grasses in buffelgrass-dominated grasslands. Restoration Ecology, 16, 263-269.


In Texas (southern USA) buffelgrass Pennisetum ciliare is a non-native invasive that threatens arid and semi-arid ecosystems. A study was undertaken in buffelgrass-dominated grasslands at Texas A&M University-Kingsville Bomer Wildlife Management Area, to assess effectiveness of five herbicides at reducing buffelgrass competition to enhance establishment of three species of native grasses.

Buffelgrass-dominated pasture was mown (cut-material raked-off) on 2 September 2002. On 18 September and 7 October 2002, glyphosate herbicide was applied as a pre-treatment. On 8 October, a seed mix of three native grasses (green sprangletop Leptochloa dubia, plains bristlegrass Setaria leucopila, and four-flower trichloris Chloris pluriflora) was drill-seeded.
Two experiments were undertaken, treatments (plus controls) applied to plots (10 x 10 m) in randomized complete block design:
1) three treatments (four replicates) of two rates (1.12 and 2.24 kg/ha) of 80% tebuthiuron, applied pre-emergence (9 October 2002);
2) six treatments (four replicate) of three post-emergent herbicides (Weedmaster, Plateau and Grazon) applied 27 July 2003).
Percent canopy cover was estimated within each plot during April, June and October 2003 and August 2004.

Tebuthiuron at 2.24 kg/ha suppressed buffelgrass cover compared with controls and increased native grasses (particularly Chloris) for almost 2 years after application, thus providing a potential restoration treatment.

Post-emergent herbicides had no significant effect on buffelgrass or planted grass cover. Native grass cover never exceeded 8% in any treatment. Buffelgrass cover returned to pre-treatment levels in less than 1 year.
Note: If using or referring to this published study, please read and quote the original paper, this can be viewed at:

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 21

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 ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust