Methods for short-term control of Imperata grass in Peruvian Amazon
The traditional control ofImperata brasiliensisgrasslands used by farmers in the Peruvian Amazon is to burn thegrass. The objective of this study was to compare different methods of short-term control. Biological, mechanical,chemical and traditional methods of control were compared. Herbicide spraying and manual weeding have shown tobe very effective in reducing above- and below-groundbiomass growth in thefirst 45 days after slashing the grass, witheffects persisting in the longer term, but both are expensive methods. Shading seems to be less effective in the short-term, whereas it influences theImperatagrowth in the longer term. After one year shading, glyphosate applicationand weeding significantly reduced aboveground biomass by 94, 67 and 53%; and belowground biomass by 76, 65 and58%, respectively, compared to control. We also found a significant decrease ofImperatarhizomes in soil during timeunder shading. Burning has proved to have no significant effect onImperatagrowth. The use of shade trees in a kindof agroforestry system could be a suitable method for small farmers to controlImperatagrasslands.