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Evaluation of the Australian Branched Broomrape (Orobanche ramosa) Eradication Program

  • F. Dane Panetta (a1) and Roger Lawes (a2)

Because weed eradication programs commonly take 10 or more years to complete, there is a need to evaluate progress toward the eradication objective. We present a simple model, based on information that is readily obtainable, that assesses conformity to the delimitation and extirpation criteria for eradication. It is applied to the program currently targeting the annual parasitic weed, branched broomrape, in South Australia. The model consists of delimitation and extirpation (E) measures plotted against each other to form an ‘eradograph.’ Deviations from the ‘ideal’ eradograph plot can inform tactical responses, e.g., increases in survey and/or control effort. Infestations progress from the active phase to the monitoring phase when no plants have been detected for at least 12 mo. They revert to the active phase upon further detection of plants. We summarize this process for the invasion as a whole in a state-and-transition model. Using this model we demonstrate that the invasion is unlikely to be delimited unless the amount of newly detected infested area decreases, on average, by at least 50% per annum. As a result of control activities implemented, on average approximately 70% (range, 44 to 86%) of active infestations progressed to the monitoring phase in the year following their detection. Simulations suggest that increasing this rate of transition will not increase E to a significant extent. The rate of reversion of infestations from the monitoring phase to the active phase decreased logarithmically with time since last detection, but it is likely that lower rates of reversion would accelerate the trend toward extirpation. Program performance with respect to the delimitation criterion has been variable; performance with respect to the extirpation criterion would be improved considerably by the development and application of cost-effective methods for eliminating branched broomrape soil seed populations.

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Weed Science
  • ISSN: 0043-1745
  • EISSN: 1550-2759
  • URL: /core/journals/weed-science
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