OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Looking Abroad to Solve a Local Problem: Investigating the European Poppy (Papaver rhoeas) as a Combatant to Medusahead (Taeniatherum Caput-Medusae)

TitleLooking Abroad to Solve a Local Problem: Investigating the European Poppy (Papaver rhoeas) as a Combatant to Medusahead (Taeniatherum Caput-Medusae)
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsHoudeshel, Dasch C.
Academic DepartmentNatural Resources
Thesis AdvisorDoescher, Paul
DegreeBA, International Studies in Natural Resources
Number of Pages27
Date Published05/2003
UniversityOregon State University
CityCorvallis
Thesis TypeUndergraduate
Keywordsinvasive, medusahead, poppy, rangeland
Abstract

Rangelands throughout western North America have experienced an invasion of medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae ssp. asprum [L.] Nevski), an annual weed native to the Mediterranean regions of Europe, Africa and Asia. Many attempts have been made to find an environmentally and economically suitable method of control that can help prevent the damage to ecosystem processes created by this weed. To date no practical means have been found.
Based on my observations of medusahead within its native range while on a language exchange to Spain, I propose that biological controls of both predators and interspecific competitors of medusahead in its native range may be useful in controlling this invader here in western North America. The European poppy (Papaver rhoeas) is similar to medusahead in historical range, life history and aggressive reproductive strategies. After a literature review on the above topics related to both medusahead and the poppy, inferences are made about why the poppy may or may not serve as a possible combatant to medusahead, and ways to help improve damaged rangeland sites that have been taken over by medusahead.