Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Bromus japonicus
(Japanese brome)

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Datasheet

Bromus japonicus (Japanese brome)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 08 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Bromus japonicus
  • Preferred Common Name
  • Japanese brome
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Monocotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • B; japonicus is an annual grass, originating in Eurasia and Northern Africa, which is introduced and invasive in rangelands in central and western North America, and a weed in wheat and other annual crops. It i...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Bromus japonicus (Japanese brome); habit. Valley, Montana, USA. June 2016.
TitleHabit
CaptionBromus japonicus (Japanese brome); habit. Valley, Montana, USA. June 2016.
Copyright©Prof Matt Lavin-2016/Bozeman, Montana, USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Bromus japonicus (Japanese brome); habit. Valley, Montana, USA. June 2016.
HabitBromus japonicus (Japanese brome); habit. Valley, Montana, USA. June 2016.©Prof Matt Lavin-2016/Bozeman, Montana, USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Bromus japonicus (Japanese brome); habit. Individual panicle branches, although diffuse, often bear one to few spikelets each. Bozeman, Montana, USA. June 2007.
TitleHabit
CaptionBromus japonicus (Japanese brome); habit. Individual panicle branches, although diffuse, often bear one to few spikelets each. Bozeman, Montana, USA. June 2007.
Copyright©Prof Matt Lavin-2007/Bozeman, Montana, USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Bromus japonicus (Japanese brome); habit. Individual panicle branches, although diffuse, often bear one to few spikelets each. Bozeman, Montana, USA. June 2007.
HabitBromus japonicus (Japanese brome); habit. Individual panicle branches, although diffuse, often bear one to few spikelets each. Bozeman, Montana, USA. June 2007.©Prof Matt Lavin-2007/Bozeman, Montana, USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Bromus japonicus (Japanese brome); close view of spikelets. ca.10km north of the Idaho National Labarotory. Idaho, USA. June 2010.
TitleSpikelets
CaptionBromus japonicus (Japanese brome); close view of spikelets. ca.10km north of the Idaho National Labarotory. Idaho, USA. June 2010.
Copyright©Prof Matt Lavin-2010/Bozeman, Montana, USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Bromus japonicus (Japanese brome); close view of spikelets. ca.10km north of the Idaho National Labarotory. Idaho, USA. June 2010.
SpikeletsBromus japonicus (Japanese brome); close view of spikelets. ca.10km north of the Idaho National Labarotory. Idaho, USA. June 2010.©Prof Matt Lavin-2010/Bozeman, Montana, USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Bromus japonicus (Japanese brome); close-up of single spikelet. Spikelets comprise lemmas, with rounded backs (in cross section) and an awn that typically remains straight, or not curved outward, in a pronounced or distinctive manner. Bozeman, Montana, USA. June 2007.
TitleSpikelet
CaptionBromus japonicus (Japanese brome); close-up of single spikelet. Spikelets comprise lemmas, with rounded backs (in cross section) and an awn that typically remains straight, or not curved outward, in a pronounced or distinctive manner. Bozeman, Montana, USA. June 2007.
Copyright©Prof Matt Lavin-2007/Bozeman, Montana, USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Bromus japonicus (Japanese brome); close-up of single spikelet. Spikelets comprise lemmas, with rounded backs (in cross section) and an awn that typically remains straight, or not curved outward, in a pronounced or distinctive manner. Bozeman, Montana, USA. June 2007.
SpikeletBromus japonicus (Japanese brome); close-up of single spikelet. Spikelets comprise lemmas, with rounded backs (in cross section) and an awn that typically remains straight, or not curved outward, in a pronounced or distinctive manner. Bozeman, Montana, USA. June 2007.©Prof Matt Lavin-2007/Bozeman, Montana, USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Bromus japonicus (Japanese brome); habit. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, along the West Fork of the Gila River, New Mexico, USA. May 2014.
TitleHabit
CaptionBromus japonicus (Japanese brome); habit. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, along the West Fork of the Gila River, New Mexico, USA. May 2014.
Copyright©Russ Kleinman, Bill Norris & Richard Felge/Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness/http://www.gilaflora.com/www.wnmu.edu
Bromus japonicus (Japanese brome); habit. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, along the West Fork of the Gila River, New Mexico, USA. May 2014.
HabitBromus japonicus (Japanese brome); habit. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, along the West Fork of the Gila River, New Mexico, USA. May 2014.©Russ Kleinman, Bill Norris & Richard Felge/Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness/http://www.gilaflora.com/www.wnmu.edu
Bromus japonicus (Japanese brome); habit, showing base of plant. Note the densely pubescent leaves and stems. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, along the West Fork of the Gila River, New Mexico, USA. May 2014.
TitleHabit
CaptionBromus japonicus (Japanese brome); habit, showing base of plant. Note the densely pubescent leaves and stems. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, along the West Fork of the Gila River, New Mexico, USA. May 2014.
Copyright©Russ Kleinman, Bill Norris & Richard Felge/Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness/http://www.gilaflora.com/www.wnmu.edu
Bromus japonicus (Japanese brome); habit, showing base of plant. Note the densely pubescent leaves and stems. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, along the West Fork of the Gila River, New Mexico, USA. May 2014.
HabitBromus japonicus (Japanese brome); habit, showing base of plant. Note the densely pubescent leaves and stems. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, along the West Fork of the Gila River, New Mexico, USA. May 2014.©Russ Kleinman, Bill Norris & Richard Felge/Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness/http://www.gilaflora.com/www.wnmu.edu
Bromus japonicus (Japanese brome); densely pubescent leaf and stem. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, along the West Fork of the Gila River, New Mexico, USA. May 2014.
TitleLeaf and stem
CaptionBromus japonicus (Japanese brome); densely pubescent leaf and stem. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, along the West Fork of the Gila River, New Mexico, USA. May 2014.
Copyright©Russ Kleinman, Bill Norris & Richard Felge/Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness/http://www.gilaflora.com/www.wnmu.edu
Bromus japonicus (Japanese brome); densely pubescent leaf and stem. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, along the West Fork of the Gila River, New Mexico, USA. May 2014.
Leaf and stemBromus japonicus (Japanese brome); densely pubescent leaf and stem. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, along the West Fork of the Gila River, New Mexico, USA. May 2014.©Russ Kleinman, Bill Norris & Richard Felge/Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness/http://www.gilaflora.com/www.wnmu.edu
Bromus japonicus (Japanese brome); florets. (a) ventral. (b) lateral. (c) dorsal. Note scale.
TitleFlorets
CaptionBromus japonicus (Japanese brome); florets. (a) ventral. (b) lateral. (c) dorsal. Note scale.
Copyright©D. Walters & C. Southwick/Table Grape Weed Disseminule ID/USDA APHIS ITP/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Bromus japonicus (Japanese brome); florets. (a) ventral. (b) lateral. (c) dorsal. Note scale.
FloretsBromus japonicus (Japanese brome); florets. (a) ventral. (b) lateral. (c) dorsal. Note scale.©D. Walters & C. Southwick/Table Grape Weed Disseminule ID/USDA APHIS ITP/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Bromus japonicus Houtt.

Preferred Common Name

  • Japanese brome

Other Scientific Names

  • Bromus abolinii Drobow
  • Bromus anatolicus Boiss. & Heldr.,
  • Bromus arvensis var. japonicus (Thunb.) Fiori
  • Bromus barobalianus G.Singh
  • Bromus cyrii Trin.
  • Bromus gedrosianus Pénzes
  • Bromus hirtus Licht.
  • Bromus patulus Mert. & W.D.J.Koch
  • Bromus pendulus Schur
  • Bromus phrygius Boiss.
  • Bromus pseudojaponicus H.Scholz
  • Bromus regnii H.Scholz
  • Bromus subsquarrosus Borbás
  • Bromus ugamicus Drobow
  • Bromus villiferus Steud.
  • Forasaccus patulus (Mert. & W.D.J.Koch) Bubani
  • Serrafalcus japonicus (Thunb.) Wilmott
  • Serrafalcus patulus (Mert. & W.D.J.Koch) Parl.

International Common Names

  • English: Japanese bromegrass; Japanese chess; Thunberg's brome
  • French: Brome du Japon; brome japonais
  • Chinese: que mai

Local Common Names

  • Finland: Japaninkattara
  • Germany: Japanische Trespe; Ueberhaengende Trespe
  • Japan: suzumenochahiki
  • Netherlands: japanse dravik
  • Sweden: kvarnlosta

EPPO code

  • BROJA (Bromus japonicus)

Summary of Invasiveness

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B; japonicus is an annual grass, originating in Eurasia and Northern Africa, which is introduced and invasive in rangelands in central and western North America, and a weed in wheat and other annual crops. It is an aggressive species that out-competes desirable vegetation for water and soil nutrients, thus reducing plant biodiversity. Invaded communities have reduced native vegetation cover and lower species richness than native rangelands. Seeds can remain viable in the soil for several years, making control difficult. B. japonicus is listed as a significant threat in Kentucky (Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2013), is invasive in California (California Invasive Plant Council, 2016), and has an ‘Alert’ status in Tennessee (Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2009).  In Canada, it is listed as a noxious weed in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Monocotyledonae
  •                     Order: Cyperales
  •                         Family: Poaceae
  •                             Genus: Bromus
  •                                 Species: Bromus japonicus

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Bromus L. is a taxonomically complex genus that includes 169 annual and perennial grass species with wide geographical distribution in temperate regions (Saarela, 2008; The Plant List, 2013).

Bromus japonicus Thunb. is an accepted name,and the species has two subspecies (B. japonicus subsp. anatolicus and B. japonicus subsp. japonicus and many varieties (The Plant List, 2013: USDA-ARS, 2016).

Three annual diploid species B. japonicus Thunb, B. squarrosus L. and B. arvensis are morphologically and genetically very similar. Oja et al. (2003) showed that B. japonicus and B. squarrosus are extreme selfers, whilst B. arvensis is an outcrosser with random mating. The researchers of the above study provided some isozyme evidence to support placement of B. japonicus under the name B. squarrosus. However a later study of Oja and Paal (2006) used cluster, PCA, classificatory and canonical discriminant analysis supporting the recognition of the three taxonomic units, but not recognizing any interspecific taxa within B. japonicus. The PLANTS Database (USDA-NRCS, 2016) treats B. japonicus as a synonym of B. arvensis, whereas on The Plant List (2013) they are two separate species.

Description

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The description of B. japonicus given by the Flora of China Editorial Committee (2016) states:

Annual. Culms erect, 40–90 cm tall. Leaf sheaths pubescent; leaf blades 12–30 cm × 4–8 mm, both surfaces pubescent; ligule 1–2.5 mm. Panicle effuse, 20–30 × 5–10 cm, nodding; branches 2–8, 5–10 cm, slender, each bearing 1–4 spikelets. Spikelets lanceolate-oblong, 12–20 × ca. 5 mm, yellowish green, florets 7–11, closely overlapping; rachilla internodes shortly clavate, ca. 2 mm; glumes subequal, keel scabrid, margins membranous, lower glume 5–7 mm, 3–5-veined, upper glume 5–7.5 mm, 7–9-veined; lemmas elliptic, 8–10 × ca. 2 mm in side view, herbaceous, 9-veined, usually glabrous, margins membranous with conspicuous angle at maturity, scabrid, apex obtuse, minutely 2-toothed, awned from 1–2 mm below apex; awn 5–10 mm, longer on upper lemmas than lower lemmas, base slightly flattened, conspicuously recurved at maturity; palea shorter than lemma, ca. 1 mm wide, keels stiffly ciliate. Anthers ca. 1 mm. Caryopsis 7–8 mm. Fl. and fr. May–Jul. 2n = 14.

B. japonicus has relatively greater root development than B. tectorum (Hulbert 1955).

Plant Type

Top of page Annual
Grass / sedge
Herbaceous
Seed propagated

Distribution

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B. japonicus is native in eastern, central, southeastern and parts of southwestern (France) Europe, as well as Northern Africa (Egypt), and tropical (Indian Subcontinent) and temperate (Caucasus, China, eastern, middle and western Asia, Mongolia, Siberia) Asia (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2016; USDA-ARS, 2016). B. japonicus is an introduced species in Australasia, North America and southern South America (Argentina). In North American mixed grass prairies B. japonicus is a common exotic invasive species (Ogle et al., 2003).  It is found in most provinces of Canada (Alberta Weed Monitoring Network, 2014), and southwards through the USA into Mexico.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

AfghanistanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
ArmeniaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
AzerbaijanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
ChinaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
-AnhuiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-GansuPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-HebeiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-HenanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-HubeiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-HunanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-JiangsuPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-LiaoningPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-Nei MengguPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-ShaanxiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-ShandongPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-ShanxiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-SichuanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-XinjiangPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-YunnanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
Georgia (Republic of)PresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
IndiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
-Himachal PradeshPresentNativeBor, 1960
-Jammu and KashmirPresentNativeBor, 1960
IranPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
IraqPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2016
IsraelPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
JapanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016; USDA-ARS, 2016
JordanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
KazakhstanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016; USDA-ARS, 2016
Korea, DPRPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2016
Korea, Republic ofPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2016
KyrgyzstanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016; USDA-ARS, 2016
LebanonPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
MongoliaPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016; USDA-ARS, 2016
NepalPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2016
PakistanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
PalestinePresentNativeRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2016
QatarPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2016
SyriaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
TaiwanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
TajikistanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016; USDA-ARS, 2016
TurkeyPresentRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2016; USDA-ARS, 2016
TurkmenistanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016; USDA-ARS, 2016
United Arab EmiratesPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2016
UzbekistanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016; USDA-ARS, 2016

Africa

AlgeriaPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2016
EgyptPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
MoroccoPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2016

North America

CanadaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016
-AlbertaPresentIntroducedAlberta Weed Monitoring Network, 2014; Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015
-British ColumbiaPresentIntroducedAlberta Weed Monitoring Network, 2014; Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015
-ManitobaPresentIntroducedAlberta Weed Monitoring Network, 2014; Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015
-OntarioPresentIntroducedAlberta Weed Monitoring Network, 2014; Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015
-QuebecPresentIntroducedAlberta Weed Monitoring Network, 2014; Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015
-SaskatchewanPresentIntroducedAlberta Weed Monitoring Network, 2014; Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015
-Yukon TerritoryPresentIntroducedCanadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015
MexicoPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016
USAPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016
-CaliforniaPresentIntroduced Invasive California Invasive Plant Council, 2016
-ColoradoPresentIntroducedKhan, 1981
-IdahoPresentIntroducedHulbert, 1955
-KansasPresentIntroducedRing et al., 1984
-KentuckyPresentIntroduced Invasive Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2013
-MissouriPresentIntroducedFlora of Missouri, 2016
-MontanaPresentIntroduced Invasive Rinella et al., 2010
-NebraskaPresentIntroducedSmith and Stubbendieck, 1990
-New MexicoPresentIntroducedWright and Frey, 2014
-North CarolinaPresentIntroducedChamberlain et al., 1974
-North DakotaPresentIntroducedTrammell and Butler, 1995
-OklahomaPresentIntroducedRisser, 1976
-OregonPresentIntroducedHulbert, 1955
-South DakotaPresentIntroducedWhisenant and Uresk, 1990
-TennesseePresentIntroduced Invasive Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2009
-TexasPresentIntroducedWalker et al., 1989
-WashingtonPresentIntroducedGilmartin et al., 1986
-WyomingPresentIntroducedGasch et al., 2013

South America

ArgentinaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016

Europe

AlbaniaPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2016
AustriaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
BelarusPresentIntroducedRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2016; USDA-ARS, 2016
BelgiumPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016
BulgariaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
CroatiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
CyprusPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
Czech RepublicPresentNativeLepsí and Lepsí, 2012; USDA-ARS, 2016
Czechoslovakia (former)PresentNativeRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2016
FinlandPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016
FrancePresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
GermanyPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
GreecePresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
HungaryPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
ItalyPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
MoldovaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
NorwayPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016
PolandPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
RomaniaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
Russian FederationPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-Central RussiaPresentIntroducedRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2016
-Northern RussiaPresentIntroducedRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2016
-Southern RussiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
-Western SiberiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
SerbiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
SlovakiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
SloveniaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
SwedenPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016
SwitzerlandPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
UkrainePresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
Yugoslavia (former)PresentNativeRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2016
Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)PresentNativeRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2016

Oceania

AustraliaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016
New ZealandPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016

History of Introduction and Spread

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B. japonicus was introduced to North America from Eurasia (Gilmartin et al., 1986)as a forage species. The time of introduction into the Northern Great Plains is unclear, although the related B. tectorum appears to have spread into Montana along railway lines (Haferkamp and Heitschmidt, 1999).

In Canada, B. japonicus was recorded in Ontario in 1912, with additional scattered records until 1948, after which it spread more rapidly (Dore and McNeill, 1980). It was uncommon in western Canada in the 1960s, but by 1980 was “abundant in the dry lands of southern Alberta and adjacent British Columbia” (Dore and McNeill, 1980). It is now present in most provinces and is reported to be expanding its range (Darbyshire, 2010; Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015).

Habitat

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B. japonicus in dry climates may prefer rocky, shallow soil rather than fine-textured deep rock-free soil due to lesser evaporation loss from rocky soils (Hulbert 1955). It has been recorded on reclaimed saline soil and can tolerate NaCl concentrations up to 0.7% (Kim, 1980). In China it is found in forest margins, roadsides, waste ground and river beaches, at altitudes ranging from near sea level to 2500(–3500) m (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2016). It is a common component of mixed prairie communities in its introduced range in North America, where it occurs on a wide range of soils. In the USA and Canada it is also present in waste areas and disturbed sites, and is a weed in cultivated fields, especially winter wheat and annual croplands (Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
 
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Principal habitat Natural
Rail / roadsides Principal habitat Natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Principal habitat Natural
Rocky areas / lava flows Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Triticum aestivum (wheat)PoaceaeMain

Growth Stages

Top of page Post-harvest, Seedling stage

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

B. japonicus has a chromosome number of 2n=14 (Hindáková, 1986, Schulz-Schaeffer, 1956).

Reproductive Biology

B. japonicus is an annual grass, hence it depends on production of seeds for reestablishment in the next growing season. Oja et al. (2003) showed that B. japonicus is self-pollinated. Its seeds proceed through periods of primary and secondary dormancy. Japanese brome can tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions, however the germination patterns vary with geographical location. Seeds can germinate readily in reduced light under litter cover (Haferkamp et al., 1994).

Physiology and Phenology

Depending on moisture and temperature, B. japonicus seeds may either germinate almost all seeds at once or only a few seeds at any one time allowing for a carryover of viable seeds from year to year, complicating the control of this invasive species (Haferkamp et al., 1994). Germination can occur at a wide range of temperatures between 5 and 30°C, but extremely cold (from 0/0 to 2/2°C) or warm (from 20/40 to 40/40°C) temperatures reduce germination (Haferkamp et al., 1995). B. japonicus is not a calcifuge (Nicholson and Hui, 1993).

Associations

B. japonicus can coexist with Bromus tectorum, with the latter being more abundant or the only annual Bromus in drier grasslands and the former more abundant in soils with increased moisture supply (Hulbert, 1955).

Environmental Requirements

B. japonicus germinates well in a wide range of temperatures from 5 to 30ºC. Light and pH from 5 to 10 has insignificant effect on germination. It is also quite tolerant of osmotic stress and salinity. The seedling emergence is greatest (98%) at the soil surface, decreasing to 7% at a depth of 5 cm (Qi et al., 2015).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
BS - Steppe climate Tolerated > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
BW - Desert climate Tolerated < 430mm annual precipitation
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)
Ds - Continental climate with dry summer Preferred Continental climate with dry summer (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry summers)
Dw - Continental climate with dry winter Preferred Continental climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry winters)

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free
  • impeded
  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • alkaline
  • neutral
  • very alkaline

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • saline
  • shallow

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal

B. japonicus has similar invasion patterns in disturbed vegetation types to those of B. tectorum (Gasch et al., 2013); i.e. the seeds are too heavy to be moved far by wind but are distributed by animals and livestock, or by soil cultivation actrivities.

Accidental Introduction

B. japonicus seeds can travel long distances along railway tracks (Wrzesien, 2011). In Canada it occurs as a weed in crops, and is known to contaminate seed and grain, particularly grass seed and wheat grain (Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
DisturbanceFound in open disturbed areas Yes Romo and Eddleman, 1987

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Economic/livelihood Negative
Environment (generally) Negative

Economic Impact

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B. japonicus is an aggressive and persistent invasive species. It is reasonably palatable to livestock when young but rapidly becomes indigestible as it matures (US Forest Service, 2016). It negatively impacts perennial grass biodiversity, and can alter seasonal patterns of rangeland forage production and quality and livestock performance (Haferkamp et al., 2001; Harmoney, 2007, Gasch et al., 2013). In the North China Plain B. japonicus is one of the most abundant species of grass weeds found in the winter wheat production system (Menegat et al., 2012). B. japonicus is competitive with wheat and may reduce its yield by 30% (Qi et al., 2015). It is a weed of both cropland and rangelands in Canada, and is often an indicator of poor range condition. In Saskatchewan, B. japonicus is problematic in overgrazed pastures and a concern in forage and reclaimed sites (Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015).

B. japonicus has been recorded as a host plant for maize dwarf mosaic virus (Lee, 1964). It is also susceptible to wheat yellow streak-mosaic virus (McKinney and Fellows, 1951).

Environmental Impact

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Impact on Habitats

Invasive grasses such as B. japonicus may increase soil infiltration in invaded plots due to a high concentration of fine brome roots in the top few centimetres in the soil, creating a persisting dense network of pores. (Gasch et al., 2013)observed that brome-dominated soils have increased levels of total N and mineral N, with the amount of organic C at similar levels to that in native soils, despite higher litter accumulation in invaded soils. Although the exotic annual bromes add to belowground C levels, the decomposing of brome root biomass results in net C loss through respiration. Invasive bromes extract shallow soil moisture earlier in the growing season than most native perennial species, contributing to much drier conditions in the top layer of the invaded soil profile. Bromes slow down decomposition of aboveground litter (Ogle et al., 2003; Kulmatiski et al., 2006, Gasch et al., 2013).

Impact on Biodiversity

B. japonicus has a negative impact on biodiversity and succession of grassland communities. Invasive grasses may double the herbaceous biomass while reducing the plant species functional group cover to extremely low levels long-term. Increase of species richness of invaded plots with increasing area is at a much lower rate than in native plots.

B. japonicus is one of the annual invasive grasses posing a threat to Silene spaldingii, a rare endemic species found in bunchgrass grasslands and sagebrush-steppe, and occasionally in open pine communities, in eastern Washington, northeastern Oregon, west-central Idaho, western Montana, and barely extending into British Columbia, Canada (US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2007). Along with other species such as Bromus tectorum and B. secalinus, B. japonicus degrades the habitat where S. spaldingii is found.

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Silene spaldingii (Spalding's catchfly)USA ESA listing as threatened species USA ESA listing as threatened speciesIdaho; Montana; Oregon; WashingtonCompetition - monopolizing resourcesUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2007

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Invasive in its native range
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Herbivory/grazing/browsing
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

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B. japonicus can be used as an inexpensive alternative to seed cakes, bran and grains for preparing wet baits for locusts (Verescagin, 1942). It provides forage for grazing animals, but as it matures more quickly than perennial grasses its presence alters the timing of maximal forage production and quality, necessitating a change in livestock management compared with native North American rangelands (Haferkamp and Heitschmidt, 1999).

Rodents such as jumping mice (Zapus hudsonius luteus) feed on the achenes or seeds of Japanese brome (Wright and Frey, 2014).

 

Uses List

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Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Bait/attractant
  • Forage

Detection and Inspection

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Wang et al. (1999) described a spectral-based sensor for detection and discrimination of wheat and weeds such as B. japonicus

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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It is sometimes difficult to distinguish young specimens of B. japonicus and B. commutatus (Hulbert 1955). B. arvensis, B. japonicus and B. squarrosus are morphologically similar and B. japonicus and B. squarrosus have identical isoenzyme zymograms indicating a close genetic relationship (Oja, 1998, Oja et al., 2003).

It is very difficult to distinguish B. japonicus from B. tectorum at the seedling stage. B. tectorum has an open drooping panicle with long straight awns attached to the seed, whereas B. japonicus has a panicle with the spikelets borne at the ends of long branches (Alberta Weed Monitoring Network, 2014). B. japonicus seed is somewhat shorter than B. tectorum seed and has a twisted awn. B. tectorum seed is a reddish colour at maturity while B. japonicus is tan in colour (Alberta Weed Monitoring Network, 2014).

In the UK, B. japonicus is distinguished from B. arvensis by its shorter anthers (less than 2 mm compared with 3-5 mm in B. arvensis (Stace, (1991).

Prevention and Control

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Burning and spring grazing are effective control treatments to limit B. japonicus density and biomass, however it is difficult to eradicate completely (Harmoney, 2007). Control methods including cultural, physical and chemical control are reviewed by Beck (2009). Maintaining a vigorous cover of perennial grasses in pastures and rangelands is a good prevention measure, as B. japonicus is primarily found in degraded rangelands and does not compete well with well-established perennial grass.

Physical/Mechanical Control

Burning in spring kills B. japonicus for one growing season and reduces subsequent generations especially when the autumn precipitation is below average (Whisenant and Uresk, 1990). In some cases however, exotic annual bromes such as Bromus tectorum and B. japonicus may become dominant following the burn despite low abundance prior to the burn (Gasch et al., 2013). B. japonicus often repopulates burnt areas within 1-2 years (Whisenant and Bulsiewicz, 1985).

Spring time targeted livestock grazing can suppress invasive annual grasses through reduction of the production of viable seeds. This approach may require repeat grazing two or three times in the spring and can be improved by integrating it with prescribed fire, use of herbicides and mechanical treatments (Olson et al., 2006).

Biological Control

Kennedy and Kremer (1966) described the potential use of deleterious rhizobacteria as biological control agents. However, Beck (2009) states that attempts to use bacteria which grew on the roots and were toxic to Bromus but not to wheat in which annual bromes were weedy were never developed as the bacteria could not be mass produced.

Planting annual cover crops such as annual ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) and sunflower (Helianthus annuus) may be effective for controlling Japanese brome and other invasive annuals by reducing their biomass (Perry et al., 2009).

Chemical Control

Menegat et al. (2012) described a chlorophyll fluorescence microscreening method for rapid evaluation of herbicide resistance of grass weeds. Greenhouse studies have shown that growth regulators such as aminopyralid and picloram can reduce B. japonicus seed production by nearly 100% indicating the potential for using this class of herbicides for its control (Rinella et al., 2010; 2013). Application of imazapic at appropriate growth stages readily control B. japonicus and B. tectorum (Beck, 2009). Products registered for use on B. japonicus in Canada include imazamox (in product combination with bentazon or imazapyr) and pyroxsulam (Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015).

Integrated Control

A combination of methods (burning, herbicides and grazing) is suggested by Haferkamp and Heitschmidt (1999) as being needed to reduce the seedbank of annual bromes. Beck (2009) states that the key to managing both B. japonicus and B. tectorum is to prevent seed formation. 

References

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Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
Royal Botanic Gardens 2015, Online Databasehttp://wfo.kew.org/

Contributors

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02/05/2016 Original text by:

Lukasz Tymo, CABI, Egham, UK

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