Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Dichanthium annulatum
(Kleberg's bluestem)

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Datasheet

Dichanthium annulatum (Kleberg's bluestem)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 14 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Dichanthium annulatum
  • Preferred Common Name
  • Kleberg's bluestem
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Monocotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • D. annulatum is a perennial grass widely naturalized in tropical and subtropical regions of the world where it has been intentionally introduced. This grass species is used for grazing and for hay and silage (...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Dichanthium annulatum; flower spike. Summer Island, New South Wales, Australia. May 2010.
TitleFlower spike
CaptionDichanthium annulatum; flower spike. Summer Island, New South Wales, Australia. May 2010.
Copyright©Harry Rose/'Macleay Grass Man'/via wikipedia - CC BY 2.0
Dichanthium annulatum; flower spike. Summer Island, New South Wales, Australia. May 2010.
Flower spikeDichanthium annulatum; flower spike. Summer Island, New South Wales, Australia. May 2010.©Harry Rose/'Macleay Grass Man'/via wikipedia - CC BY 2.0
Dichanthium annulatum; close-up of flower spike. Summer Island, New South Wales, Australia. May 2010.
TitleFlower spike
CaptionDichanthium annulatum; close-up of flower spike. Summer Island, New South Wales, Australia. May 2010.
Copyright©Harry Rose/'Macleay Grass Man'/via wikipedia - CC BY 2.0
Dichanthium annulatum; close-up of flower spike. Summer Island, New South Wales, Australia. May 2010.
Flower spikeDichanthium annulatum; close-up of flower spike. Summer Island, New South Wales, Australia. May 2010.©Harry Rose/'Macleay Grass Man'/via wikipedia - CC BY 2.0
Dichanthium annulatum; spikelet with long awn. Summer Island, New South Wales, Astralia. June 2013.
TitleSpikelet with long awn
CaptionDichanthium annulatum; spikelet with long awn. Summer Island, New South Wales, Astralia. June 2013.
Copyright©Harry Rose/'Macleay Grass Man'/via wikipedia - CC BY 2.0
Dichanthium annulatum; spikelet with long awn. Summer Island, New South Wales, Astralia. June 2013.
Spikelet with long awnDichanthium annulatum; spikelet with long awn. Summer Island, New South Wales, Astralia. June 2013.©Harry Rose/'Macleay Grass Man'/via wikipedia - CC BY 2.0
Dichanthium annulatum (Kleberg's bluestem); fruits.
TitleFruits
CaptionDichanthium annulatum (Kleberg's bluestem); fruits.
CopyrightThis image is not copyrighted and may be freely used for any purpose (original by Steve Hurst/USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database).
Dichanthium annulatum (Kleberg's bluestem); fruits.
FruitsDichanthium annulatum (Kleberg's bluestem); fruits.This image is not copyrighted and may be freely used for any purpose (original by Steve Hurst/USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database).

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Dichanthium annulatum (Forssk.) Stapf

Preferred Common Name

  • Kleberg's bluestem

Other Scientific Names

  • Andropogon annulatus Forssk.
  • Andropogon garipensis Steud.
  • Andropogon ischaemum Roxb. ex Wight
  • Andropogon obtusus Nees ex Hook. & Arn.
  • Andropogon scandens Roxb.
  • Bothriochloa tuberculata W.Z. Fang
  • Gymnandropogon annulatum (Forssk.) Duthie
  • Lepeocercis annulata (Forssk.) Nees
  • Sorghum annulatum (Forssk.) Kuntze

International Common Names

  • English: angleton grass; bluestem; diaz bluestem; Hindi grass; Kleberg bluestem; marvel grass; ringed dichanthium; sheda grass; two-flowered goldenbeard; vunda blue grass
  • Spanish: climacuna; pajón; pitilla; yerba de las travesías; yerba de vía
  • Chinese: shuang hua cao

Local Common Names

  • Cuba: pitilla americana
  • India: delhi grass; jargu grass; karad
  • Philippines: lindi
  • Thailand: ya hindi; ya waen
  • Vietnam: song tha'o to

Summary of Invasiveness

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D. annulatum is a perennial grass widely naturalized in tropical and subtropical regions of the world where it has been intentionally introduced. This grass species is used for grazing and for hay and silage (Barkworth et al., 2003; Cook et al., 2005; FAO, 2014). It has escaped from cultivation and has become a weed in the United States, Australia, Mexico, Central America and the West Indies (Villaseñor and Espinosa-García, 2004; Chacon and Saborío, 2012; Gonzalez-Torres et al., 2012; Randall, 2012; USDA-NRCS, 2014). D. annulatum has been intentionally introduced as a pasture grass because of its capability to establish on a wide variety of soils (including poorly drained soils), and its salinity and drought tolerance (i.e., 6- 8 months dry seasons; Cook et al., 2005). It competes aggressively with other plants and grows forming dense stands (Vibrans, 2011). D. annulatum also tolerates seasonal burning (Cook et al., 2005).

Taxonomic Tree

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

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The genus Dichanthium of the family Poaceae comprises 20 species native to the Old World, but hybrids between different species have been reported (Saxena and Chandra, 2006). The name Dichanthium comes from the Greek “dicha” = in two, as in two separate things, and “anthos” = flower, as a reference to the presence of homogamous and heterogamous spikelets (Barkworth et al., 2003). The species D. annulatum is highly apomictic and it can form hybrids with other species such as D. fecundum (Saxena and Chandra, 2006). Thus, a considerable morphological variation has been reported for this species (Agarwal et al., 1999).

Description

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D. annulatum is a perennial grass with culms 25-100 cm tall, ascending, nodes pubescent. Sheaths lax, terete, 3-4 cm long, glabrous except finely pubescent on margins near throat; ligule a shallow membrane, approximately 1.5 mm long; blades linear-acuminate, 3-30 cm long, 2-7 mm wide, margins sparsely pubescent, apex attenuate, base subcordate. Inflorescences composed of (1) 2-15 subdigitate, short-pedunculate racemes, each raceme 3-7 cm long, peduncles glabrous; spikelet pairs subimbricate along a slender filiform axis, with 0-6 smaller homogamous spikelet pairs at base, the joints and pedicels flattened, margins setose; sessile spikelet narrowly oblong, 2-6 mm long, first glume cartilaginous, slightly concave, villous below the middle, pubescent with long bulbous-based hairs above the middle, obscurely nerved, margins inflexed, apex obtuse to subacute, second glume narrowly boat-shaped, 2-6 mm long, 3-nerved, scabrid on back of the midnerve toward apex, obscurely scaberulous over the back toward apex, hyaline, first lemma delicately hyaline, oblong-rounded, setose near tip, approximately 2 mm long, palea absent, second lemma linear, approximately 1.6 mm long, hyaline, with the central nerve excurrent as a geniculate, twisted awn 8-25 mm long; pedicellate spikelet with first glume narrowly ovate-truncate, approximately 3 mm long, 11-nerved, pectinate-setose along the back of the inflexed margins, midnerve setose on the back toward apex. Caryopsis oblong to obovate, dorsally compressed, approximately 2 mm long (Wagner et al., 1999).

Plant Type

Top of page Grass / sedge
Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated

Distribution

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D. annulatum is native to Africa, tropical and temperate Asia, the Middle East, and Papua New Guinea (Clayton et al., 2014; USDA-ARS, 2014). Currently this species is widely naturalized in Australia, America, and islands in the Pacific Ocean (see distribution table for details; Randall, 2012; Clayton et al., 2014; PIER, 2014; USDA-ARS, 2014).

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

AfghanistanPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
BahrainPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
BangladeshPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
BhutanPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
Chagos ArchipelagoPresentIntroduced Invasive Whistler, 1996
ChinaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-GuangdongPresentNativeeFloras, 2014
-GuangxiPresentNativeeFloras, 2014
-GuizhouPresentNativeeFloras, 2014
-HainanPresentNativeeFloras, 2014
-HubeiPresentNativeeFloras, 2014
-SichuanPresentNativeeFloras, 2014
-YunnanPresentNativeeFloras, 2014
IndiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
-Arunachal PradeshPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
-AssamPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
-Himachal PradeshPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
-Jammu and KashmirPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
-SikkimPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
-UttarakhandPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
IndonesiaPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
-Nusa TenggaraPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
-SulawesiPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
IranPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
IraqPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
IsraelPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
JapanPresentIntroducedMito and Uesugi, 2004
JordanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
KuwaitPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
LaosPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
LebanonPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
MalaysiaPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
MyanmarPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
NepalPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
OmanPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
PakistanPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
PhilippinesPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
Saudi ArabiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
SingaporePresentIntroduced Invasive Chong et al., 2009
TaiwanPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
ThailandPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
TurkeyPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
VietnamPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
YemenPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014

Africa

AlgeriaPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
AngolaPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
BotswanaPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
Cape VerdePresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
ChadPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
Côte d'IvoirePresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
DjiboutiPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
EgyptPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
EritreaPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
EthiopiaPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
KenyaPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
LibyaPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
MadagascarPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
MalawiPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
MaliPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
MauritaniaPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
MauritiusPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
MoroccoPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
MozambiquePresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
NamibiaPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
NigerPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
SenegalPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
SomaliaPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
South AfricaPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
Spain
-Canary IslandsPresentIntroducedClayton et al., 2014
SudanPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
SwazilandPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
TanzaniaPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
TunisiaPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
UgandaPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
ZambiaPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
ZimbabwePresentNativeClayton et al., 2014

North America

MexicoPresentIntroduced Invasive Villaseñor and Espinosa-Garcia, 2004
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-HawaiiPresentIntroduced Invasive Wagner et al., 1999
-LouisianaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-TexasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014

Central America and Caribbean

BarbadosPresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007
BelizePresentIntroducedClayton et al., 2014
British Virgin IslandsPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012Virgin Gorda
Costa RicaPresentIntroduced Invasive Chacón and Saborío, 2012
CubaPresentIntroduced Invasive González-Torres et al., 2012
Dominican RepublicPresentIntroducedClayton et al., 2014
GuadeloupePresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007
GuatemalaPresentIntroducedClayton et al., 2014
HaitiPresentIntroducedClayton et al., 2014
NicaraguaPresentIntroducedClayton et al., 2014
PanamaPresentIntroducedClayton et al., 2014
Puerto RicoPresentIntroduced Invasive Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012
Saint LuciaPresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007
Trinidad and TobagoPresentIntroducedClayton et al., 2014
United States Virgin IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012St Croix

South America

ArgentinaPresentIntroducedZuloaga et al., 2008Santa Fe
ChilePresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Easter IslandPresentIntroducedClayton et al., 2014
ColombiaPresentIntroducedClayton et al., 2014
GuyanaPresentIntroducedFunk et al., 2007Cultivated and naturalized
VenezuelaPresentIntroducedHokche et al., 2008

Europe

GreecePresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2014
ItalyPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2014Sicilia
PortugalPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-MadeiraPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2014
SpainPresentPresent based on regional distribution.

Oceania

AustraliaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Australian Northern TerritoryPresentIntroduced Invasive Perkins, 2014
-New South WalesPresentIntroduced Invasive Perkins, 2014
-QueenslandPresentIntroduced Invasive Perkins, 2014
-Western AustraliaPresentIntroducedPerkins, 2014Naturalized
FijiPresentIntroduced Invasive Smith, 1979
New CaledoniaPresentIntroduced Invasive MacKee, 1994
NiuePresentIntroduced Invasive Whistler, 1988
PalauPresentPIER, 2014
Papua New GuineaPresentNativeClayton et al., 2014
SamoaPresentPIER, 2014

History of Introduction and Spread

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The date of the initial introduction of D. annulatum into new habitats is uncertain, but most likely it occurred during the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. For the West Indies, this species was first reported in 1915 in Cuba and in 1922 in Puerto Rico (US National Herbarium Collection). Between 1944 and 1954, the species D. annulatum and several cultivars were intentionally released in Texas, USA (Cook et al., 2005).

Risk of Introduction

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The risk of introduction of D. annulatum is very high. This grass has been repeatedly intentionally introduced in tropical and subtropical regions to be used as a fodder, forage, hay, and silage crop (Cook et al., 2005; FAO, 2014). It has escaped from cultivation and rapidly naturalized into natural areas where it colonizes new areas forming dense stands and displacing native vegetation. It is apomictic and produces large numbers of wind-dispersed seeds (Vibrans, 2011). In addition, D. annulatum is fire and drought tolerant, which are features helping this species to outcompete native species (Cook et al., 2005; Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, 2011).

Habitat

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D. annulatum can be found growing in waste and disturbed sites, urban areas, dry coastal sites, arid wetlands, sand dune grasslands, and along roadsides near pastures and grazing areas where this species often escapes and become weedy (Wagner et al., 1999; Cook et al., 2005; Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, 2011). It is adapted to grow in conditions ranging from moist tropical and subtropical regions to dry and arid habitats (Barkworth et al., 2003; Cook et al., 2005).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
 
Terrestrial – ManagedManaged grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details Natural
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Natural
Wetlands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Wetlands Present, no further details Natural
Scrub / shrublands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Scrub / shrublands Present, no further details Natural
Littoral
Coastal areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coastal areas Present, no further details Natural
Coastal dunes Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coastal dunes Present, no further details Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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In Australia, D. annulatum is competing aggressively with important native grasses such as the species Eriachne benthamii. In Texas (USA), this species has escaped from pastures and is outcompeting native grasses in bluestem coastal grassland communities (Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, 2011).

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The basic chromosome number in Dichanthium is 10, however the species D. annulatum shows different ploidy levels with chromosome number 2n = 2X= 20, 4X = 40 and 6X = 60 with tetraploids being the most common (Saxena and Chandra, 2006). 

Reproductive Biology

D. annulatum is a highly apomictic species, but it also shows facultative apomixis and different levels of sexual reproduction. It is predominantly wind-pollinated (Ambasht and Maurya, 1970; Cook et al., 2005; Saxena and Chandra, 2006; Vibrans, 2011). 

Environmental Requirements

D. annulatum grows in dry to moist environments from sea level up to 1600 m asl with mean annual rainfall ranging from 300 to 1400 mm and annual mean temperatures of 12.5 to 27.5°C (Duke, 1983; FAO, 2014). It is well-adapted to drought and can grow in areas with dry seasons lasting up to 8 months (Cook et al., 2005). D. annulatum is also adapted to a wide variety of soil types from sandy to heavy soils with neutral to alkaline conditions. It can tolerate poor drainage, salinity, and seasonal burning but not waterlogged conditions (Cook et al., 2005).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
BS - Steppe climate Preferred > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
BW - Desert climate Tolerated < 430mm annual precipitation
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Tolerated Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 12 27.5

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration08number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall3001400mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

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Uniform

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • infertile
  • saline

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Cerebella andropogonis Pathogen All Stages not specific N
Chaetostroma atrum Pathogen All Stages not specific N
Cochliobolus lunatus Pathogen All Stages not specific N
Colletotrichum caudatum Pathogen All Stages not specific N
Curvularia andropogonis Pathogen All Stages not specific N
Curvularia robusta Pathogen All Stages not specific N
Nigrocornus scleroticus Pathogen All Stages not specific N
Peronosclerospora dichanthiicola Pathogen All Stages not specific N
Phyllachora ischaemi Pathogen All Stages not specific N
Physoderma dichanthiicola Pathogen All Stages not specific N
Puccinia cesatii Pathogen All Stages not specific N
Puccinia duthiei Pathogen All Stages not specific N
Puccinia propinqua Pathogen All Stages not specific N
Sphacelotheca annulata Pathogen All Stages not specific N
Sporisorium andropogonis-annulati Pathogen All Stages not specific N
Uredo susica Pathogen All Stages not specific N
Uromyces andropogonis-annulati Pathogen All Stages not specific N
Ustilago duthiei Pathogen All Stages not specific N

Notes on Natural Enemies

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D. annulatum is parasitized by Striga asiatica (Orobanchaceae) and several Claviceps species may generate a significant reduction in seed production. In addition, a wide number of fungal species have been reported affecting this species (Cook et al., 2005; FAO, 2014): many of these are listed in the Natural Enemies Table.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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D. annulatum spreads mainly by seeds, but also by stolons. It produces large numbers of seeds which are mainly wind-dispersed. Seeds can also be dispersed secondarily by animals such as birds and by cattle, agricultural machinery and as a contaminant in grass seeds, agricultural products, and soil (Cook et al., 2005; FAO, 2014; Prota4U, 2013).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Animal productionUsed as silage and hay Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
DisturbanceCommon grass in degraded areas Yes Perkins, 2014
Escape from confinement or garden escapeEscaped from cultivation Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
ForagePasture for grazing Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
Habitat restoration and improvementPlanted for re-seeding degraded grasslands Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
Intentional releaseWidely cultivated pasture Yes Yes FAO, 2014

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Debris and waste associated with human activitiesStolons and seeds Yes Cook et al., 2005
Land vehiclesSeeds Yes Yes Vibrans, 2011
Soil, sand and gravelSeeds Yes Yes Vibrans, 2011
WindSeeds Yes Yes Vibrans, 2011

Impact Summary

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

Environmental Impact

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D. annulatum behaves as a grass weed and competes aggressively once established, often suppressing other species and forming dense stands. It has the potential to alter ecosystem functions by altering fire regimes, hydrology cycles, nutrient cycles, and community composition because it is drought-resistant and tolerates seasonal burning and saline conditions (Cook et al., 2005; Vibrans, 2011; FAO, 2014; PIER, 2014). In Australia, this species is highly invasive in arid wetlands where it is competing aggressively with important native grasses such as the species Eriachne benthamii (Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, 2011). In Texas (USA), this species has escaped from cultivation and is outcompeting native grasses in bluestem coastal grassland communities (Barkworth et al., 2003; Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, 2011).

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Lyonia truncata var. proctorii (Proctor's staggerbush)USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesPuerto RicoCompetition - stranglingUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 1994

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its 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
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Long lived
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Altered trophic level
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of fire regime
  • Modification of hydrology
  • Modification of nutrient regime
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Soil accretion
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - smothering
  • Competition - strangling
  • Pest and disease transmission
  • Herbivory/grazing/browsing
  • Hybridization
  • 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

Uses

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D. annulatum is one of the most commercialized fodder grasses, especially in India and SE Asia because it is adapted to intense grazing and tolerates drought and fire (Duke, 1983). It is often planted as pasture for grazing and as a hay and silage grass. D. annulatum is also used for controlling soil erosion on sloping fields and to improve degraded grasslands (Cook et al., 2005; Prota4U, 2013).

Uses List

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Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Fodder/animal feed
  • Forage

Environmental

  • Erosion control or dune stabilization
  • Soil improvement

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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Dichanthium is closely related to Bothriochloa, but can be distinguished by its pedicels and rachis internodes being solid and lacking a median, purple line (eFloras, 2014).

Prevention and Control

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D. annulatum is susceptible to glyphosate (Cook et al., 2005).

References

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Acevedo-Rodríguez P, Strong MT, 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies. Smithsonian Contributions to Botany, 98:1192 pp. Washington DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

Agarwal DK, Sanjeev Gupta, Roy AK, Gupta SR, 1999. Study on agromorphological variation vis-à-vis geographical distribution in marvel grass (Dichanthium annulatum L. (Stapf.)). Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter, No. 118:27-29.

Ambasht RS, Maurya AN, 1970. Reproductive capacity of Dichanthium annulatum Stapf. in relation to biotic factors. Tropical Ecology, 11(2):186-193.

Amit Chauhan, Singh DK, Dhakre JS, 2005. Additions to the Poaceae of Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir. Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany, 29(1):224-226.

Barkworth ME, Capels KM, Long S, Piep MB, 2003. Dichanthium. Flora of North America, volume 25. http://herbarium.usu.edu/webmanual/

Broome R, Sabir K, Carrington S, 2007. Plants of the Eastern Caribbean. Online database. Barbados: University of the West Indies. http://ecflora.cavehill.uwi.edu/index.html

Chacón E, Saborío G, 2012. Red Interamericana de Información de Especies Invasoras, Costa Rica ([English title not available]). San José, Costa Rica: Asociación para la Conservación y el Estudio de la Biodiversidad. http://invasoras.acebio.org

Chong KY, Tan HTW, Corlett RT, 2009. A checklist of the total vascular plant flora of Singapore: native, naturalised and cultivated species. Singapore: Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, 273 pp. http://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/nus/pdf/PUBLICATION/LKCNH%20Museum%20Books/LKCNHM%20Books/flora_of_singapore_tc.pdf

Clayton WD, Govaerts R, Harman KT, Williamson H, Vorontsova M, 2014. World Checklist of Poaceae. Richmond, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/

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Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
FAO: Profile for Grassland Specieshttp://www.fao.org/ag/agp/AGPC/doc/Gbase/
Grasses in North Americahttp://herbarium.usu.edu/webmanual/
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER): Plant threats to Pacific ecosystemshttp://www.hear.org/pier/index.html
Plant Resources of Tropical Africahttp://www.prota.org
Tropical Forageshttp://www.tropicalforages.info/index.htm

Contributors

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11/02/14 Original text by:

Julissa Rojas-Sandoval, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

Pedro Acevedo-Rodríguez, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

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