Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Bothriochloa ischaemum
(yellow bluestem)

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Datasheet

Bothriochloa ischaemum (yellow bluestem)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 14 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Bothriochloa ischaemum
  • Preferred Common Name
  • yellow bluestem
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Monocotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • B. ischaemum is a warm seasoned perennial grass in the Poaceae family which is native to Europe, Asia and Africa. There are two varities of B. ischaemum, var. ischaemum and B. isc...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Bothriochloa ischaemum (yellow bluestem); seedheads.
TitleSeedheads
CaptionBothriochloa ischaemum (yellow bluestem); seedheads.
CopyrightPublic Domain - released by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database/Jose Hernandez
Bothriochloa ischaemum (yellow bluestem); seedheads.
SeedheadsBothriochloa ischaemum (yellow bluestem); seedheads.Public Domain - released by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database/Jose Hernandez
Bothriochloa ischaemum (yellow bluestem); spikelets.
TitleSpikelets
CaptionBothriochloa ischaemum (yellow bluestem); spikelets.
CopyrightPublic Domain - released by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database/Jose Hernandez
Bothriochloa ischaemum (yellow bluestem); spikelets.
SpikeletsBothriochloa ischaemum (yellow bluestem); spikelets.Public Domain - released by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database/Jose Hernandez

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Bothriochloa ischaemum (L.) Keng

Preferred Common Name

  • yellow bluestem

Other Scientific Names

  • Amphilophis ischaemum (L.) Nash
  • Andropogon ischaemum L.
  • Andropogon ischaemum f. songaricus (Rupr. ex Fisch. & C.A.Mey.) Kitag.
  • Andropogon ischaemum var. ischaemum
  • Andropogon ischaemum var. laevifolius Hack.
  • Andropogon ischaemum var. songaricus Rupr. ex Schrenk
  • Andropogon panormitanus Parl.
  • Andropogon patulus Moench
  • Andropogon pertusus var. panormitanus (Parl.) Hack.
  • Andropogon taiwanensis Ohwi
  • Andropogon undulatus Pers.
  • Bothriochloa insculpta subsp. panormitana (Parl.) Giardina & Raimondo
  • Bothriochloa ischaemum f. ischaemum
  • Bothriochloa ischaemum f. songarica (Rupr.) Kitag.
  • Bothriochloa ischaemum var. ischaemum
  • Bothriochloa ischaemum var. songarica (Rupr.) Celarier & J.R.Harlan
  • Bothriochloa panormitana (Parl.) Pilg.
  • Dichanthium ischaemum (L.) Roberty
  • Ischaemum dactyloideum Montandon
  • Sorghum ischaemum (L.) Kuntze

International Common Names

  • English: king ranch bluestem (B. ischaemum var. songarica); Texas yellow beard grass (B. ischaemum var. songarica); Turkestan bluestem (B. ischaemum var. ischaemum); yellow bluestem (B. ischaemum var. ischaemum)
  • Chinese: bai yang cao

Local Common Names

  • Brazil: capim-cola-de-zorro-amarelo

Summary of Invasiveness

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B. ischaemum is a warm seasoned perennial grass in the Poaceae family which is native to Europe, Asia and Africa. There are two varities of B. ischaemum, var. ischaemum and B. ischaemum var. songarica, which have different native ranges and have been introduced into different countries. This species was introduced into the North American Great Plains in the 1920s to tackle soil erosion and for forage production. This species has since been planted onto millions of hectares of marginal rangeland, roadsides and Conservation Reserve Program lands (Harmoney et al., 2004). B. ischaemum can readily escape original planting sites where it can invade native rangelands, with negative ecological and economic consequences such as the formation of monocultures and the loss of native biodiversity. This species is a particular problem in Texas where dense monocultures are displacing native grass species.

Taxonomic Tree

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

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Grasses in the Bothriochloa genus are closely related to grasses in the Andropogon genus (bluestem grasses) and Erianthus genus (plume grasses). B. ischaemum was once classified as Andropogon ischaemum (Hilty, 2014).

A number of different cultivars of B. ischaemum have been widely released into the USA, full details of which can be found in Cook et al. (2005). In addition to this, two varieties exist; B. ischaemum var. ischaemum and B. ischaemum var. songarica. A number of common names relate specifically to a particular variety.

Description

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Plants typically cespitose, occasionally stoloniferous or rhizomatous, especially when heavily grazed or under frequently mowed. Culms 20-80 cm long, stiffly erect; nodes glabrous or short hirsute. Leaves basal; ligules 0.5-1.5 mm; blades 5-25 cm long, 2.0-4.5 mm wide, flat to folded, glabrous or with long, scattered hairs at the base of the blade. Panicles 5-10 cm, fan-shaped, silvery reddish-purple; rachises 0.5-2 cm, typically with 2-8 branches; branches 3-9 cm, erect to somewhat spreading from the axillary pulvini, usually with only one rame; rame internodes with a central groove narrower than the margins, margins ciliate, with 1-3 mm hairs. Sessile spikelets 3.0-4.5 mm, narrowly ovate; lower glumes hirsute below with about 1 mm hairs, lacking a dorsal pit; awns 9-17 mm, twisted, geniculate; anthers 1-2 mm (Vega, 2000).

The culm node of the variety B. ischaemum var. songarica is ringed with short hairs (Harms, 2015).

Distribution

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B. ischaemum is native to parts of Europe, Northern Africa and Asia. Two distinct varieties of this species exist with different distributions. B. ischaemum var, songarica is restricted to a small area in southern China, Taiwan and northern Myanmar, whereas B. ischaemum var. ischaemum is native from here all the way from Japan to Portugal (USDA-ARS). 

This species has been introduced into 17 states in the southern part of USA and into Puerto Rico where it is invasive (USDA-NRCS, 2015). It is present in cultivation in the states of Queensland and New South Wales, Australia (Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2015). It is also present in a number of South American countries.

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

AfghanistanWidespreadNativeCook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
ArmeniaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
AzerbaijanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
BhutanPresentUSDA-ARS, 2014
ChinaWidespreadNative Not invasive Cook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. songarica and B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
Georgia (Republic of)PresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
IndiaPresentNative Not invasive Cook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
IranPresentNative Not invasive Cook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
IraqPresentCook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
JapanPresentNativeCook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
KazakhstanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
Korea, DPRPresentNativeCook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
KyrgyzstanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
LebanonPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
MongoliaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
MyanmarPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var, songarica
NepalPresentNative Not invasive Cook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
PakistanPresentNativeCook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
SyriaPresentNative Not invasive Cook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
TaiwanPresentNative Not invasive Cook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. songarica
TajikistanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
TurkeyPresentNative Not invasive Cook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
TurkmenistanPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
UzbekistanPresentNative Not invasive Cook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum

Africa

AlgeriaPresentNative Not invasive Cook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
TunisiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014

North America

CanadaPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015
MexicoPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AlabamaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2014B. ischaemum var. songarica
-ArizonaPresentIntroduced Invasive Kearney et al., 1960; Doan, 2002; USDA-NRCS, 2014B. ischaemum var. songarica
-ArkansasPresentIntroduced Invasive Smith, 1988B. ischaemum var. songarica
-CaliforniaPresentIntroducedHickman, 1993; USDA-NRCS, 2014B. ischaemum var. songarica
-ColoradoPresentIntroduced Invasive Kuhn et al., 2011; USDA-NRCS, 2014B. ischaemum var. songarica
-FloridaPresentIntroduced Invasive Wunderlin and Hansen, 2008; USDA-NRCS, 2014B. ischaemum var. songarica
-GeorgiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Carter et al., 2009; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-IllinoisPresentIntroduced Invasive Hilty, 2014
-KansasWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Kuhn et al., 2011; Wilson et al., 2012; Greer, 2013; USDA-NRCS, 2014; Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States, 2015B. ischaemum var. songarica
-LouisianaWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Thomas and Allen, 1997; USDA-NRCS, 2014; Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States, 2015
-MississippiPresentIntroduced Invasive Bryson and Skojac, 2011; USDA-NRCS, 2014B. ischaemum var. songarica
-New MexicoPresentIntroduced Invasive Larson et al., 2014; USDA-NRCS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum and B. ischaemum var. songarica
-New YorkPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2014; Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 2015B. ischaemum var. songarica
-OhioPresentIntroduced Invasive Vincent et al., 2011; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-OklahomaWidespreadIntroduced Invasive McGregor et al., 1977; Kuhn et al., 2011; Wilson et al., 2012; Greer, 2013; USDA-NRCS, 2014; Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States, 2015B. ischaemum var. songarica
-South CarolinaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2014B. ischaemum var. songarica
-TennesseePresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014B. ischaemum var. songarica
-TexasWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Welsh et al., 1987; Hatch et al., 1990; Turner et al., 2003; Hannick et al., 2013; USDA-NRCS, 2014; Texas Invasives, 2015B. ischaemum var. ischaemum and B. ischaemum var. songarica
-UtahPresentIntroduced Invasive Welsh et al., 1987; USDA-NRCS, 2014B. ischaemum var. songarica

Central America and Caribbean

BelizePresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015
Costa RicaPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015
CubaPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015
Dominican RepublicPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015
PanamaPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015
Puerto RicoLocalisedIntroduced Invasive Britton and Wilson, 1926; USDA-NRCS, 2014

South America

ArgentinaPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015
BoliviaPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015
BrazilPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015
ChilePresent
ColombiaPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015
EcuadorPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015
GuyanaPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015
ParaguayPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015
VenezuelaPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015

Europe

AlbaniaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
AustriaPresentNative Not invasive Cook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
BelgiumPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015
BulgariaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
CroatiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
Czech RepublicWidespreadNative Not invasive Cook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
FranceWidespreadNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
GermanyPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
GreeceWidespreadNative Not invasive Cook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
HungaryWidespreadNative Not invasive Cook et al., 2005; Bartha et al., 2014; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
ItalyPresentNative Not invasive Cook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
MoldovaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
PolandWidespreadNative Not invasive Cook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
PortugalWidespreadNative Not invasive Cook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
RomaniaWidespreadNative Not invasive Cook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
Russian FederationPresentNative Not invasive Cook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
SerbiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
SlovakiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
SloveniaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
SpainWidespreadNative Not invasive Cook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
SwitzerlandWidespreadNativeCook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
UkrainePresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014B. ischaemum var. ischaemum
Yugoslavia (former)WidespreadNative Not invasive Cook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2014

Oceania

AustraliaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-New South WalesPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroducedCouncil of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2015
-QueenslandPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroducedCouncil of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2015

History of Introduction and Spread

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B. ischaemum was introduced into the North American Great Plains in the 1920s for soil erosion control and forage production on marginal rangelands (Celarier and Harlan, 1955). Today, B. ischaemum has been planted onto millions of hectares of marginal rangeland, roadsides and Conservation Reserve Program lands (Harmoney et al., 2004).

The two varieties of B. ischaemum have clearly differentiated introduced ranges in the USA (USDA-NRCS, 2015), with B. ischaemum var. ischaemum limited to two states and B. ischaemum var. songarica much more widespread.

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
USA Europe 1920s Habitat restoration and improvement (pathway cause) Yes No Celarier and Harlan (1955)

Risk of Introduction

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There is some risk of B. ischaemum being introduced into new areas as a source of forage for cattle and for soil stabilization. The seeds may naturally disperse more locally into new areas by wind and water and can be accidentally introduced into new areas by being transported on vehicles, clothing and footwear (Hilty, 2014; Texas Invasives, 2015).

Habitat

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In its native range, B. ischaemum is adapted to well drained, sandy soils (not deep sands), loams and clays. It prefers fine textured, calcareous soils and has some tolerance to low available iron. It also has some salt tolerance, growing naturally onto saline solonetz soils. B. ischaemum is often the dominant mid-successional grass species growing in dry stony places, borders of fields and slopes on waste ground, roadsides and in pastures (Bartha et al., 2014). The species may be found in pastures, grassy areas along roads, relatively open areas along streams and other disturbed areas (Texas Invasives, 2015).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
 
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Cultivated / agricultural land Secondary/tolerated habitat Productive/non-natural
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Secondary/tolerated habitat Productive/non-natural
Disturbed areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Productive/non-natural
Rail / roadsides Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Secondary/tolerated habitat Productive/non-natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Secondary/tolerated habitat
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Productive/non-natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

B. ischaemum is reported as having a diploid chromosome number of 2n = 40, 50, 60 (FAO, 2015).

Reproductive Biology

B. ischaemum is an obligate pseudogamous apomict (Cook et al., 2005). In the northern hemisphere, B. ischaemum typically flowers from June/July to September/October (Vega, 2000). It produces an abundant seed bank (20-40kg of seed per hectare) which can survive a long time (Cook et al., 2005; Robertson and Hickman, 2012). B. ischaemum is cross pollinated (Bartha et al., 2014).

Physiology and Phenology

B. ischaemum is a C4 plant.

Environmental Requirements

B. ischaemum occurs naturally between 35-50º N in Asia and Europe. This distribution suggests that the species is best adapted to areas with an average annual temperature of between 10-17ºC, extending to about 20ºC. It is however able to tolerate extremely cold winters (Cook et al., 2005). In its native range it receives 350-500 mm of rain, however in its introduced range it can receive up to 1,000 mm of rain (Cook et al., 2005). B. ischaemum is drought resistant but cannot tolerate flooding (Cook et al., 2005). It is also tolerant of heavy grazing and fire (Hilty, 2014).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
B - Dry (arid and semi-arid) Preferred < 860mm precipitation annually
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)

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 10 17
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 20

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Mean annual rainfall3501000mm; lower/upper limits

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Hilty (2014) commented that B. ischaemum is generally free from insect damage and disease but may be susceptible to leaf rusts.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal

Natural dispersal of B. ischaemum typically occurs via the translocation of seeds by winds and water movement (Hilty, 2014).

Accidental Introduction

Seeds can be accidentally transported on vehicles, clothing, including footwear and in contaminated seed of forage grass (Hilty, 2014).

Intentional Introduction

B. ischaemum is primarily spread by humans as it is intentionally introduced into new areas as a possible source of forage for cattle and for soil stabilization as a component of roadside vegetation.

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Economic/livelihood Positive and negative
Environment (generally) Positive and negative

Economic Impact

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B. ischaemum is regarded as an invasive and weedy species in many areas of North America, and control is often difficult to achieve and can be costly (Mittelhauser et al., 2011; Ruffner and Barnes, 2012).

Environmental Impact

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Impact on Habitats

B. ischaemum can form dense monocultures which may outcompete native plant species and decrease habitats occupied by native wildlife (Afflerbach, 2013). This reduction can potentially threaten endangered species and cause a loss to native species (George et al., 2013; Greer, 2013). An alteration of beneficial soil microbes has been reported as a result from invasion of B. ischaemum, including alterations to mycorrhizal associations (Wilson et al., 2012; Endresz et al., 2013). Potential allelopathic effects from B. ischaemum may facilitate its invasion and complicate restoration of native plant species (Greer et al., 2014).

Impact on Biodiversity

Several studies have been conducted to assess impacts of B. ischaemum on native biodiversity (McIntyre et al., 2003; Hickman et al., 2006; George et al., 2013; Greer, 2013). A study comparing native prairies with monocultures of B. ischaemum found grasshopper sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum) to become more abundant but savannah sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis), cassin's sparrows (Peucaea cassinii) and horned larks (Eremophila alpestris) to become less abundant (George et al., 2013). In Texas, B. ischaemum is found to be displacing native grass species (Gabbard and Fowler, 2007).

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Festuca ligulata (Guadalupe fescue)USA ESA species proposed for listing USA ESA species proposed for listingTexasCompetition (unspecified)US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2014

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
  • Reproduces asexually
  • Has high genetic variability
Impact outcomes
  • Altered trophic level
  • Conflict
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of nutrient regime
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
  • Damages animal/plant products
Impact mechanisms
  • Allelopathic
  • Antagonistic (micro-organisms)
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Competition
  • Herbivory/grazing/browsing
  • Rapid growth
  • Rooting
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

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Economic Value

The foliage of B. ischaemum is grazed by cattle, sheep and other hoofed mammalian herbivores and provides some economic value. It is however, usually considered less productive and desirable for forage than other grasses that are widely available. This species has also been proposed as a potential species for biofuel production (Porensky et al., 2014).

Environmental Services

B. ischaemum helps stabilize soils.

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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B. ischaemum is similar to the closely related species of the same genus, B. bladhii. Morphological characteristics such as scattered hairs on the back of the outer bracts of B. bladhii can be used to differentiate between these species (Cook et al., 2005). B. bladhii has been reported as highly invasive on Pacific Islands (PIER, 2015).

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

Control

Physical/Mechanical Control

It has been suggested that invasion by B. ischaemum may be decreased through habitat fragmentation, such as that caused by woody plant encroachment (Alofs and Fowler, 2010).

Chemical Control

Multiple applications of the herbicides imazapic, glyphosate, sulfometuron, bromacil and imazapyr have been shown to control B. ischaemum, although none of the herbicides resulted in complete eradication (Harmoney et al., 2004; Mittelhauser et al., 2011; Ruffner and Barnes, 2012; Robertson et al., 2013).

IPM

Techniques such as combining glyphosate with burning and mowing may successfully control B. ischaemum (Robertson et al., 2013). It has been suggested that the use of a herbicide followed by disking may also control B. ischaemum, however, more than one application will be necessary (Ruffner and Barnes, 2012).

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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B. ischaemum has been reported to be very difficult to eradicate once established. Further research is needed to determine the best management practices for successful eradication. Restoration efforts following eradication are difficult and allelopathic chemicals may be produced (Greer et al., 2014), therefore further research is also needed to determine the consequences of these allelopathic effects on native plant species.

References

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Afflerbach C, 2013. Invasion of Texas rangelands by king ranch bluestem (Bothriochloa ischaemum): the role of nutrient availability, niche partitioning and mycorrhizal fungi. BSc Honors thesis. San Antonio, Texas, USA: Trinity University.

Alofs KM, Fowler NL, 2010. Habitat fragmentation caused by woody plant encroachment inhibits the spread of an invasive grass. Journal of Applied Ecology, 47(2):338-347. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/jpe

Bartha S, Szentes S, Horváth A, Házi J, Zimmermann Z, Molnár C, Dancza I, Margóczi K, Pál RW, Purger D, Schmidt D, Óvári M, Komoly C, Sutyinszki Z, Szabó G, Csathó AI, Juhász M, Penksza K, Molnár Z, 2014. Impact of mid-successional dominant species on the diversity and progress of succession in regenerating temperate grasslands. Applied Vegetation Science, 17(2):201-213. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/avsc.12066/full

Briske DD, 1991. Developmental morphology and physiology of grasses. In: Grazing management: an ecological perspective [ed. by Heitschmidt, R. K. \Stuth, J. W.]. Portland, Oregon, USA: Timber Press, 85-108.

Britton NL, Wilson P, 1926. Scientific Survey of Porto Rico and Virgin Islands. Volumen VI. New York, USA: Academy of Sciences, 629 pp.

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20/05/2015 Original text by:

Gail Wilson, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma, USA

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