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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory » Research » Research Project #438986

Research Project: Evaluating Potential Miscanthus x Giganteas Spread on the Delmarva Peninsula

Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-13611-029-08-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2020
End Date: Aug 31, 2022

Objective:
Evaluate the invasiveness risk of switchgrass and Miscanthus including testing of suitable control methods for termination of Miscanthus stands. Investigate the potential of Miscanthus rhizome spread via mechanical processes.

Approach:
The study will be conducted at the University of Delaware Carvel Research and Education Center, near Georgetown, DE. Miscanthus rhizomes will be planted into strips (1 m wide) and allowed to become established. The following spring mechanical movement of plants will be assessed. Mechanical disturbance will include mowing (no soil disturbance), deep plowing (moldboard plow to bury rhizomes), chisel plowing (disturbance to 10-15 cm depth), and disking (surface disturbance). Treatments will be imposed perpendicular to strip where rhizomes were planted. The “edge” of the established plants will be located prior to disturbance and then distance of spread will be recorded. Mechanical disturbances will mimic normal field operations that have the potential to cause spread of Mischanthus. Number and size of plants developing outside the planted area will be compared to growth and development within the initial planted strip. Data analysis: Trial will be conducted as small-plot replicated trials. Data will be analyzed in a statistically sound procedure, based on the design of the study. Trial will be replicated at least three times. Trial will be repeated for two years.