- Author: Elise S Gornish
Many researchers have attempted to identify the magic combination of elements needed to control the cover and spread of Medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae), an invasive winter annual grass. Individually, these attempts have yielded a variety of outcomes that sometimes suggest opposing strategies for effective weed control. Recently, researchers at UC Cooperative Extension and UC Davis attempted to leverage the collective value of these disparate investigations. They conducted a systematic review in order to understand if any broad conclusions could be drawn to highlight effective techniques for weed management. The authors found that short-term control of Medusahead can be achieved by using most combinations of burning, grazing, herbicide and seeding of native species. However, for longer term control, herbicide or herbicide + seeding appeared to be the best treatment for reducing Medusahead cover in annual rangeland systems (but not in perennial rangelands). The study also identified management knowledge gaps that must be addressed in order to develop more effective control methods. The paper was published in Rangeland Ecology & Management, but can be accessed freely from the publication tab on: http://gornish.ucdavis.edu/.