Aminopyralid efficacy on Canada thistle and changes in species composition in both Canada thistle–infested and native plant communities were evaluated in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, ND. Aminopyralid at 120 g ae/ha was applied in September 2004 to one-half of 30 native or 30 Canada thistle–infested sites. Canada thistle density 10 mo after treatment (MAT) averaged 2 stems/m2 compared to 31 stems/m2 in the control and 22 MAT averaged 16 stems/m2 compared to 42 stems/m2. Although Canada thistle was reduced in treated sites, species richness was similar to the untreated control. Species evenness increased in treated subplots compared to the control as foliar cover of low- and high-seral forbs and high-seral monocot species increased. Species richness was reduced in native plant communities treated with aminopyralid from approximately 12 to 9 species but evenness was not affected. Plant species diversity was similar in Canada thistle–infested treated and nontreated subplots but was reduced by aminopyralid in native subplots. Despite the decrease in Canada thistle and increased foliar cover of native perennial plants, composition and structure 22 MAT in the Canada thistle–infested plant community did not resemble native plant communities. Native plant communities were composed of many perennial monocots and high-seral forbs, which had increased but were in lower relative abundance in the treated Canada thistle–infested subplots.
Nomenclature: Aminopyralid; Canada thistle, Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop. CIRAR.