Control of the annual weed, common groundsel, may be troublesome because of insufficient control by herbicides. Biological control based on stimulating epidemics of the rust fungus Puccinia lagenophorae on common groundsel populations may be an alternative to herbicides if the rust fungus can be integrated with the general use of herbicides against other weeds. Formulations of monolinuron, metoxuron, and pendimethalin were selected for the study. The integration of the rust fungus with each of the three herbicides was evaluated. A three-step procedure was followed to evaluate the integration of the rust fungus and these formulated herbicides. The effect of the selected herbicides on common groundsel was tested in the first step. Only formulated monolinuron completely controlled common groundsel under controlled conditions, indicating that biological control is not required in situations where monolinuron is employed for weed control. The effect of metoxuron and pendimethalin on the rust fungus was tested under controlled conditions in the second step. Formulated metoxuron was not compatible with the rust fungus, indicating that biological control cannot be employed in situations where metoxuron is applied. The effect of pendimethalin on P. lagenophorae epidemics was evaluated using an epidemiological model in the third step. Formulated pendimethalin had no detectable effects on P. lagenophorae epidemics. We concluded that use of P. lagenophorae epidemics for common groundsel control is complementary to application of formulated pendimethalin against other weeds.
Nomenclature: Monolinuron; metoxuron; pendimethalin; common groundsel, Senecio vulgaris L. SENVU; Puccinia lagenophorae Cooke.