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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Science (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Catherine Tarasoff


Invasive plant species threaten natural areas by reducing biodiversity and altering ecosystem functions. They also impact agriculture by reducing crop and livestock productivity. Millions of dollars are spent on invasive species control each year, and traditionally, herbicides are used to manage invasive species. Herbicides have human and environmental health risks associated with them; therefore, it is essential that land managers and stakeholders attempt to reduce these risks by utilizing the principles of integrated weed management. Integrated weed management is a practice that incorporates a variety of measures and focuses on the ecology of the invasive plant to manage it. Roadways are high risk areas that have high incidence of invasive species. Roadways act as conduits for invasive species spread and are ideal harborages for population growth; therefore, roadways should be a primary target for invasive species control. There are four stages in the invasion process which an invasive species must overcome: transport, establishment, spread, and impact. The aim of this dissertation was to focus on these four stages and examine the mechanisms underlying the progression from one stage to the next, while also developing integrated weed management strategies. The target species were Phragmites australis, common reed, and Cisrium arvense, Canada thistle. The transport and establishment risks of P. australis can be reduced by removing rhizome fragments from soil when roadside maintenance is performed. The establishment and spread of C. arvense can be reduced by planting particular resistant species, e.g. Heterotheca villosa, especially those that can reduce light transmittance to the soil. Finally, the spread and impact of C. arvense can be mitigated on roadsides through the use of the herbicide aminopyralid. The risks associated with herbicide drift produced by application equipment can be reduced by using the Wet-Blade herbicide application system.