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|Chemical Effects of Hexazinone|
Hexazinone is a selective herbicide registered for use in pine production for site preparation, release and herbaceous weed control. The chemical is absorbed from soil solution by plant roots and transported to the site of action in the chloroplasts of the plant. The compound in hexazinone binds to a specific protein and inhibits other important reactions, causing the affected plant to die from oxidative stress. Hexazinone is soluble in water and may be mobile in subsurface solution. It appears to persist in forest soils for relatively short periods. However, the herbicide has been tested only superficially for possible toxic effects on other plant and animal species and for movement off the site to nearby aquatic ecosystems.
Chemical activity in soils is greatly dependent on soil pH and percentage of organic matter. Because of these factors, hexazinone is more effective on soils with relatively high sand content, low pH values and low organic matter levels -- conditions typical of soils in the southeastern United States. Plants differ in their resistance to hexazinone. Some pine species, such as southern yellow pine and pineland threeawn, are more resistant, while oaks are more susceptible to the chemical. Given these factors, hexazinone is a good candidate for assisting in the restoration of sandhill plant communities.