Methods for short-term control of Imperata grass in Peruvian Amazon

Bohdan Lojka, Petra Hlasna Cepkova, Lenka Navratilova, Patrick Van Damme, Jan Banout, Zbynek Polesny, Daniel Preininger


The traditional control of Imperata brasiliensis grasslands used by farmers in the Peruvian Amazon is to burn the grass. 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 to be very effective in reducing above- and below-ground biomass growth in the first 45 days after slashing the grass, with effects persisting in the longer term, but both are expensive methods. Shading seems to be less effective in the short-term, whereas it influences the Imperata growth in the longer term. After one year shading, glyphosate application and weeding significantly reduced aboveground biomass by 94, 67 and 53%; and belowground biomass by 76, 65 and 58%, respectively, compared to control. We also found a significant decrease of Imperata rhizomes in soil during time under shading. Burning has proved to have no significant effect on Imperata growth. The use of shade trees in a kind of agroforestry system could be a suitable method for small farmers to control Imperata grasslands.


Agroforestry, Imperata brasiliensis, slash-and-burn farming, small farmers, weed control

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