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Composting Reduces Seed Viability of Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) and Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)

  • Joseph Van Rossum (a1) and Mark J. Renz (a1)


Composting is a common practice for management of herbaceous yard materials and other decomposable materials. Although composting is promoted by state agencies for many materials, a notable exception is invasive plants due to concerns about spreading propagules with the finished product. To address this issue, we measured the viability of garlic mustard and common buckthorn seeds exposed to turned or static composting methods. Piles were built in 2012 and 2013, and seeds from both species were inserted and monitored for viability. Seed viability was reduced rapidly regardless of year, composting method, or species. Viability of seeds was zero within 7 and 15 d of composting for garlic mustard and common buckthorn, respectively, in both years. Results indicate that composting facilities are able to render the seeds of these invasive plants nonviable using either composting method because inactivation is within the composting timeframes typically practiced by the industry. This includes the process to further reduce pathogens (PFRP) with thresholds of 55 C for 15 d for the compost management process used for this trial.


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Composting Reduces Seed Viability of Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) and Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)

  • Joseph Van Rossum (a1) and Mark J. Renz (a1)


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