Eradication of Solanum elaeagnifolium in Châteauneuf-les-Martigues (France)
In April 2005, the Conservatoire Botanique National de Porquerolles and the land manager of the Bolmont and Jaï ponds (SIBOJAÏ) experimented the local eradication of Solanum elaeagnifolium. This plant has been found at 2 locations in the South of France and a risk analysis conducted with the Plant Protection Service concluded that eradication should be immediately undertaken.
In Châteauneuf-les-Martigues, the plant represented a threat for the wet pastures and the biodiversity of the protected area that it colonized. It also represented a risk for the surrounding arable lands. Only one single plant was present. Mechanical removal was preferred to the use of phytosanitary products as the area harboured protected plants and animals.
As rhizomes of S. elaeagnifolium can reach 2 m in depth and grow laterally, an excavator removed the plant and soil on a volume of approximately 3 m long x 3 m large x 3 m deep. The main plant and visible rhizomes were manually removed and burned. In order to avoid risks of contamination by small fragments (as small as 0.5 cm) remaining in the ground, removed soil was buried into a 3 m deep hole on a plot placed under the responsibility of the land manager.
This eradication was undertaken before fructification of the plant. Seeds can remain viable for at least 10 years, the land manager will therefore monitor the area for at least 10 years in search of potential reseedings.
S. elaeagnifolium is by now considered as eradicated from Châteauneuf-les-Martigues but remain to be monitored in case of discovery of new infestations. This preventive action gave the opportunity to involve local representatives and to inform the public by press releases.
In France, a larger infestation is still to eradicate in Vic-La-Gardiole, but the multiplicity of actors to involve has delayed the process of eradication.
EPPO Secretariat, 2006-01.
Pictures and description of the eradication of Solanum elaeagniofolium in Châteauneuf-les-Martigues: http://www.ame-lr.org/plantes-envahissantes/solanum.html