Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Emergence of a new salt-tolerant alien grass along roadsides? Occurrence of Diplachne fusca subsp.fascicularis (Poaceae) in Hungary.

Abstract

This paper reports the occurrence of a North American salt-tolerant taxon, Diplachne fusca subsp. fascicularis (Lam.) P.M. Peterson et N. Snow in Hungary (Central-Europe). Two earlier Hungarian observations of D. fusca were known from 1915, near Győr (West Transdanubia), later the taxon was collected by Pénzes in 1958, in downtown Budatétény (central Hungary). Both observations seem to be occasional. Recently, the taxon has started spreading in Europe, mainly on rice paddy fields, with a serious invasion potential. In North America its appearance on ruderal habitats, as well as along roads and other linear infrastructures is a well known phenomenon. The Hungarian population was found near Cegléd (central Hungary) on the roadside of the E40 primary main road in September 2018. In July 2019 more than one thousand (mostly vegetative) individuals were detected. The salt content of the habitat shows remarkable temporal and spatial variability. At one meter distance from the edge of the paved road soil salt content was higher in spring (after the winter de-icing regime), than in autumn. Salt concentration was highest in the vicinity of the road, and decreased with increasing distance from it. Germination tests revealed a significant negative effect of NaCl concentration on germination rates, but germination occurred even on extremely saline substrates with 1.5% NaCl concentration. Considering its biology and reproduction strategy, the further spread of Diplachne fusca is highly presumable.