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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Wildlife and Fisheries Science

First Advisor

Kenneth F. Higgins


The feasibility and effectiveness of glyphosate herbicide to create openings in dense monodominant stands of cattail in semi-permanent wetlands and the response of breeding and overwater nesting ducks and aquatic invertebrates to the chemical treatments were studied in northeastern South Dakota. Four wetlands were treated with glyphosate in 1985 by fixed-wing aircraft and were compared to cattail-dominated wetlands and wetlands with a natural interspersion of cattail and open water in a Randomized Complete Block Design. Pre-, post- and between-treatment comparisons were made between 2 application patterns treated in 1986. Breeding duck use, overwater nest densities and success, aquatic invertebrate abundance and diversity, and Vegetational changes were compared between the wetland categories. Glyphosate effectively controlled cattail, however, treatment duration was related to the water regime. Aquatic invertebrate abundance was neither enhanced nor adversely affected by glyphosate treatments, however, aquatic, invertebrate diversity was greater in 1987 in the glyphosate-treated wetlands. Breeding duck use was greatest in glyphosate-treated wetlands, particularly the treated wetlands with the highest cattail-open water interspersion. Overwater duck nest densities were greatest in glyphosate-treated and cattail-dominated wetlands and lowest in wetlands with a natural cattail-open water interspersion. Variations in nesting success were primarily influenced by weather. Creation of openings in dense monodominant stands of cattail with aerial application of glyphosate increased available breeding duck habitat and enhanced access to overwater nesting cover. Recommendations are presented for improving breeding duck habitat in cattail-dominated wetlands with glyphosate.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Wetlands -- South Dakota
Wetland animals -- South Dakota
Wetland plants -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (pages 86-105)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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