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Utricularia gibba

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Datasheet

Utricularia gibba

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 16 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Utricularia gibba
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • U. gibba is an annual or perennial submerged or free-floating carnivorous aquatic plant. It has been identified as such a specialist invasive species and may outcompete native bladderworts in lowland wetland ec...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Utricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); close-up of flower. 5.4 km SE of Entre Rios, Brazil. January 2012.
TitleFlower
CaptionUtricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); close-up of flower. 5.4 km SE of Entre Rios, Brazil. January 2012.
Copyright©Alex Popovkin, Bahia, Brazil/via wikipedia - CC BY 2.0
Utricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); close-up of flower. 5.4 km SE of Entre Rios, Brazil. January 2012.
FlowerUtricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); close-up of flower. 5.4 km SE of Entre Rios, Brazil. January 2012.©Alex Popovkin, Bahia, Brazil/via wikipedia - CC BY 2.0
Utricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); single plant, in hand. 5.4 km SE of Entre Rios, Brazil. January 2012.
TitleHabit
CaptionUtricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); single plant, in hand. 5.4 km SE of Entre Rios, Brazil. January 2012.
Copyright©Alex Popovkin, Bahia, Brazil/via wikipedia - CC BY 2.0
Utricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); single plant, in hand. 5.4 km SE of Entre Rios, Brazil. January 2012.
HabitUtricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); single plant, in hand. 5.4 km SE of Entre Rios, Brazil. January 2012.©Alex Popovkin, Bahia, Brazil/via wikipedia - CC BY 2.0
Utricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); infestation as a clump of bladderwort removed from a water body.
TitleInfestation
CaptionUtricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); infestation as a clump of bladderwort removed from a water body.
Copyright©Graves Lovell/Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Utricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); infestation as a clump of bladderwort removed from a water body.
InfestationUtricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); infestation as a clump of bladderwort removed from a water body.©Graves Lovell/Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Utricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); plants in hand.
TitleHabit
CaptionUtricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); plants in hand.
Copyright©Graves Lovell/Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Utricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); plants in hand.
HabitUtricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); plants in hand.©Graves Lovell/Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Utricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); closeview of plants in hand.
TitleHabit
CaptionUtricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); closeview of plants in hand.
Copyright©Graves Lovell/Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Utricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); closeview of plants in hand.
HabitUtricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); closeview of plants in hand.©Graves Lovell/Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Utricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); plant structure.
TitleHabit
CaptionUtricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); plant structure.
Copyright©Robert Vidéki/Doronicum Kft./Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Utricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); plant structure.
HabitUtricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); plant structure.©Robert Vidéki/Doronicum Kft./Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Utricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); close-up of plant structure.
TitleHabit
CaptionUtricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); close-up of plant structure.
Copyright©Robert Vidéki/Doronicum Kft./Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Utricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); close-up of plant structure.
HabitUtricularia gibba (gibbous bladderwort or hump-back bladderwort); close-up of plant structure.©Robert Vidéki/Doronicum Kft./Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Utricularia gibba L. 1753

Other Scientific Names

  • Utricularia biflora Lam.
  • Utricularia exoleta R. Br.
  • Utricularia fibrosa Walter
  • Utricularia gibba subsp. exoleta (R. Br.) P. Taylor
  • Utricularia gibba subsp. gibba L.
  • Utricularia obtusa Sw.
  • Utricularia pumila Walter

International Common Names

  • English: gibbous bladderwort; hump-back bladderwort; humped bladder wort; humped bladderwort; humped bladder-wort; swollenspur bladderwort; swollen-spur bladderwort; swollenspurred bladderwort
  • Spanish: col de vejigas
  • Chinese: shao hua li zao

Local Common Names

  • Australia: floating bladderwort
  • Hungary: törpe rence
  • New Zealand: conespur bladderwort; cone-spur bladderwort; creeping bladderwort; dwarf bladderwort; swollen-spurred bladderwort; yellow bladderwort; yellow flowering bladderwort; yellow-flowering bladderwort
  • Slovakia: bublinatka pluzgierkatá

Summary of Invasiveness

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U. gibba is an annual or perennial submerged or free-floating carnivorous aquatic plant. It has been identified as such a specialist invasive species and may outcompete native bladderworts in lowland wetland ecosystems in countries where it is introduced. It was intentionally introduced, as an aquarium plant, to New Zealand in 1980, where it is now fully naturalized.

U. gibba is predominantly dispersed by water fowl. It can also rapidly colonise new water bodies by stem fragmentation and via its seeds. It forms a mat over the water surface which reduces light to plants growing beneath and could be a problem for irrigation and drainage. U. gibba is on the National Pest Plant Accord list of New Zealand and is designated as an Unwanted Organism, and banned from sale, propagation and distribution.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Scrophulariales
  •                         Family: Lentibulariaceae
  •                             Genus: Utricularia
  •                                 Species: Utricularia gibba

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The Lentibulariaceae (bladderworts) are the largest family of carnivorous plants and comprise ca. 325 species in the three genera Genlisea, Pinguicula, and Utricularia, which are clearly differentiated with regard to their trapping system (Fischer et al., 2004). Utricularia is the most derived genus of the carnivorous family Lentibulariceae. So far, 220 species have been described (Barthlott et al., 2004), of which about 25% are aquatic (Taylor, 1994). All species of this genus are characterised by the presence of traps which are borne in large numbers on stems and leaves. These traps, or 'bladders', operate by sucking in prey which is then digested.

Utricularia gibba L., Sp. Pl. 18. 1753 is the accepted name by IPNI (2012). Various subspecies have been proposed for U. gibba because it is one of the several most variable species in the genus due its large range; however, based largely on the work of Taylor (1989), all of them are considered synonymous. Genus Utricularia is from the Latin utricularius, 'a small bag or bladder'; gibba, from the Latin gibbus, 'hunched, humped', a reference to the inflated base of the lower lip of the corolla.

Description

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U. gibba is an annual or perennial submerged or free-floating aquatic plant. Rhizoids absent or present, filiform, branched. Stolons filiform, much branched, often mat-forming. Traps lateral on leaf segments, stalked, ovoid, 1-2.5 mm, mouth lateral; appendages 2, dorsal, branched, setiform, with shorter setae. Leaves numerous on stolons, 0.5-1.5 cm; primary segments (1 or) 2, unbranched or sparsely dichotomously branched into 3-8 ultimate segments; ultimate segments capillary, slightly flattened, margin entire or sparsely denticulate, apex and teeth setulose. Inflorescences erect, 2-15 cm, 1-3(-6)-flowered; peduncle terete, 0.3-0.5 mm thick, glabrous; scale 1, similar to bracts; bracts basifixed, semiorbicular, ca. 1 mm, minutely glandular, apex truncate and obscurely dentate. Pedicel erect to spreading, 2-12 mm, filiform; bracteoles absent. Calyx lobes subequal, broadly ovate to orbicular, 1.5-2 mm, apex rounded. Corolla yellow, 4-8 mm; lower lip slightly smaller than upper lip, base with a prominent 2-lobed swelling, apex rounded; spur narrowly conic to cylindric from a conic base, shorter or longer than corolla lower lip, distal part sparsely stipitate glandular, apex obtuse; palate densely pubescent; upper lip broadly ovate to suborbicular, ca. 2 × as long as upper calyx lobe, apex obscurely 3-lobed. Filaments 1-1.5 mm, curved; anther thecae confluent. Ovary globose; style evident; stigma lower lip transversely elliptic, upper lip obsolete. Capsule globose, 2-3 mm in diam., 2-valvate. Seeds lenticular, 0.8-1 mm in diam., margin broadly winged, wing shallowly and irregularly dentate; seed coat with small prominent reticulations (Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011).

Distribution

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U. gibba has a global distribution, with pan-tropical distribution in particular (Taylor, 1994). It occurs naturally in North America and is well distributed in the following areas: along the east coast throughout Florida and Louisiana, to Quebec and eastern North America; from southern British Columbia to California; and the West Indies (USDA-NRCS, 2012). It is also well distributed in Central and South America (GBIF 2012; Tropicos, 2012); the western Mediterranean (Greuter et al., 1989); southern Africa (African Plants Database, 2012); China, India, South West Asia, the Indian Ocean islands, the Pacific islands (Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011); and Australia (CHAH, 2009; Rowe and Brown, 1992).

In its non-native distribution, it is introduced in the Hawaiian Islands (USDA-NRCS, 2012) and Slovakia and Hungary (DAISIE, 2012). In New Zealand (North Island) it is extensively naturalised (Webb and Sykes, 1997; Salmon, 2001). Further information about the distribution of this species can be found in FBIS (2005).

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

ChinaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AnhuiPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
-ChongqingPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
-FujianPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
-GuangdongPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
-GuangxiPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
-HainanPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
-HenanPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
-HubeiPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
-HunanPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
-JiangsuPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
-YunnanPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
-ZhejiangPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
IndiaPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
IndonesiaPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
IsraelPresentNative Not invasive Greuter et al., 1984
JapanPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
JordanPresentNative Not invasive Greuter et al., 1984
MalaysiaPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
MyanmarPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
NepalPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
PhilippinesPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
Sri LankaPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
TaiwanPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
ThailandPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
VietnamPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011

Africa

AlgeriaPresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Greuter et al., 1984; Africa Plants Database, 2012
AngolaPresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2012
BotswanaPresentNative Not invasive Africa Plants Database, 2012
BurundiPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012
CameroonPresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2012
Congo Democratic RepublicPresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2012
Côte d'IvoirePresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2012
EgyptPresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Greuter et al., 1984; Africa Plants Database, 2012
EthiopiaPresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2012
GabonPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden, 2012
KenyaPresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2012
LesothoPresentNative Not invasive Africa Plants Database, 2012
LiberiaPresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2012
LibyaPresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Greuter et al., 1984; Africa Plants Database, 2012
MadagascarPresentNative Not invasive Africa Plants Database, 2012
MauritiusPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
MoroccoPresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Greuter et al., 1984; Africa Plants Database, 2012
NamibiaPresentNative Not invasive Africa Plants Database, 2012
RwandaPresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2012
SenegalPresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2012
Sierra LeonePresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2012
South AfricaPresentNative Not invasive Africa Plants Database, 2012
SudanPresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2012
SwazilandPresentNative Not invasive Africa Plants Database, 2012
TanzaniaPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012
TunisiaPresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Greuter et al., 1984; Africa Plants Database, 2012
UgandaPresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2012
ZambiaPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012
ZimbabwePresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2012

North America

CanadaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-British ColumbiaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-New BrunswickPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-Nova ScotiaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-OntarioPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-QuebecPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
MexicoPresentNative Not invasive Olvera, 1996; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AlabamaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-ArizonaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-ArkansasPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-CaliforniaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-ConnecticutPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-DelawarePresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-FloridaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-GeorgiaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-HawaiiPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2012
-IllinoisPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-IndianaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-IowaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-KansasPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-KentuckyPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-LouisianaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-MainePresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-MarylandPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-MassachusettsPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-MichiganPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-MinnesotaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-MontanaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-New HampshirePresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-New JerseyPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-New YorkPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-North CarolinaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-OhioPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-OklahomaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-OregonPresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-PennsylvaniaAbsent, formerly presentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-Rhode IslandPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-South CarolinaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-TennesseePresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-TexasPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-VermontPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-VirginiaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-WashingtonPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-West VirginiaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
-WisconsinPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012

Central America and Caribbean

BahamasPresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2012
BelizePresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012
Costa RicaPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012
El SalvadorPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012
GuadeloupePresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2012
GuatemalaPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012
HondurasPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012
JamaicaPresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2012
MartiniquePresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2012
NicaraguaPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012
PanamaPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012
Puerto RicoPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2012
Trinidad and TobagoPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012

South America

ArgentinaPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012
BoliviaPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012
BrazilPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-BahiaPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012
-Espirito SantoPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012
-ParanaPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012
-Santa CatarinaPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012
ChilePresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012
ColombiaPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012
EcuadorPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012
French GuianaPresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2012
GuyanaPresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2012
ParaguayPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012
PeruPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012
UruguayPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012
VenezuelaPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012

Europe

FrancePresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2012
HungaryPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2012
PortugalPresentNative Not invasive Greuter et al., 1984; Menezes and Silva, 2008
SerbiaPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2012
SlovakiaPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2012
SpainPresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Greuter et al., 1984southwest region

Oceania

Australia
-New South WalesNative Not invasive Rowe and Brown, 1992
-QueenslandNative Not invasive Rowe and Brown, 1992
-South AustraliaNative Not invasive CHAH, 2009
-VictoriaNative Not invasive CHAH, 2009
-Western AustraliaNative Not invasive Rowe and Brown, 1992
New CaledoniaPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
New ZealandPresentNative Not invasive FBIS, 2005; Biosecurity New Zealand, 2008; Wells and Champion, 2010; Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
PalauPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011
Papua New GuineaPresentNative Not invasive Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011

History of Introduction and Spread

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U. gibba was first recorded as U. biflora Lam. for New Zealand in 1980 (Bangerter, 1980), where it was probably introduced from Europe and southern USA (NZPCN, 2010). It has spread throughout gum fields and dune lakes in part of northern New Zealand (DOC, 2005) and is currently spreading across the lake landscape in New Zealand (Compton et al., 2012). From 1990 to 2010 it was recorded in nearly 40 lakes (Champion and Clayton, 2000) and between 2004 to 2008 invaded more than 34 lakes in North Island (New Zealand) alone (Winton et al., 2009). It is widely distributed in the northern Auckland region (Champion et al., 2002; Wells and Champion, 2010) and has probably reached its potential range limit in Northland. It is now spreading in Auckland and Waikato Regions (Wells and Champion, 2010).

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
New Zealand 1980 Aquarium trade (pathway cause) Yes Bangerter (1980) North Island

Risk of Introduction

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U. gibba is commonly cultivated as an ornamental plant (Biosecurity New Zealand, 2008); it may have been introduced originally as an aquarium plant (Webb et al., 1988). It is predominantly dispersed in New Zealand by water fowl and can rapidly colonise new water bodies by stem fragmentation and seed (Compton et al., 2012), and natural spread between catchments is likely. Currently, the areas in which it appears to be spreading by natural means are limited, and the risk of long-distance spread thus reduced (Biosecurity New Zealand, 2008).

It has also failed weed risk assessments for New Zealand, so further introductions, at least in this region, are unlikely (Champion and Clayton, 2000; 2001). In addition, Plantlife (2010) has identified an urgent need for a detailed risk assessment of U. gibba in the UK; the introduction of this plant into the UK is therefore unlikely. U. gibba is included in the list of environmental weeds in New Zealand (Howell, 2008) and in the First Schedule of the National Pest Plant Accord (NPPA). All plants on the list are designated as Unwanted Organisms, and are banned from sale, propagation and distribution throughout New Zealand (Biosecurity New Zealand, 2008).

Habitat

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U. gibba is frequent in canals, reservoirs, pools and is well extended in wetlands. It also occurs along lake edges, in lowland marshes and fens (Taylor, 1989; GISD 2012) and in shallow still or slow-flowing water (Rowe and Brown, 1992). In China it is found in bogs and rice fields (Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011). The invaded habitats in New Zealand include lowland freshwater wetlands (Landcare Research, 2012). It is found in pools and backwaters associated with Scirpus spp. in New Zealand (Landcare Research, 2012).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Secondary/tolerated habitat Productive/non-natural
Wetlands Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Wetlands Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
Freshwater
 
Irrigation channels Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Lakes Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Lakes Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
Reservoirs Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rivers / streams Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Ponds Principal habitat Natural
Ponds Principal habitat Productive/non-natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

In the highly specialized carnivorous family Lentibulariaceae, U. gibba has been found to exhibit significantly lower values of nuclear holoploid genome sizes, with 88 Mbp (megabase pairs of DNA) (Greilhuber et al., 2006). The basic chromosome number of U. gibba is 12n= 28 (Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011). The species closest to U. gibba genetically is U. bremii (Rahman, 2007).

Reproductive Biology

The flowers are hermaphrodite and pollinated either by insects or by self-pollination (Salmon, 2001). U. gibba regenerates naturally from seeds (Champion and Clayton, 2000; Compton, et al., 2012). The vegetative reproduction is by re-sprouts from stem fragments or from rhizomes (NZPCN, 2010). U. gibba differs from all these species in that it has no winter buds in its leaf axils, which are the most common propagation method for other species of Utricularia (Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011).

Physiology and Phenology

In more suitable habitats, U. gibba flowers during the warm time of the year, or year-round in tropical regions (Rice, 1994). In the northern hemisphere, U. gibba is a perennial plant, flowering June-August, when yellow flowers are produced that protrude above the water surface (Rook, 2004); in China, flowering takes place from April to November and fructification from May to December (Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011). In New Zealand and Australia the flowering season is in autumn and can be extended until spring (Rowe and Brown, 1992; Landcare Research, 2012). U. gibba overwinters as a complete plant, not as winter buds, and drops to the bottom of the water where it remains dormant through the winter.

Bladderworts (Polypompholyx and Utricularia spp.) are aquatic carnivorous plants with bladder traps interspersed among photosynthetic leaves, and can only use free CO2 (not HCO3-) for photosynthesis (Adamec, 1997). Bladders contain some chlorophyll, but their rate of photosynthesis is lower than that of leaves and thus entails considerable maintenance costs (Adamec, 2006). Bladder production in Utricularia is a strategy that offsets the ecological disadvantages associated with nutrient-poor environments (Guisande et al., 2007).

The biomass of U. gibba is about 16.8±1.7 g and the largest portion of the biomass is allocated to leaves, stolons and traps (86.66%), whereas the amount of biomass allocated to reproductive structures is 13.44%, a relatively small amount. Porembski et al. (2006) suggest that aquatic Utricularia species rely on vegetative fragments for reproduction and dispersal rather than on seeds.

Associations

In the western USA, U. gibba is associated with species such as algae, Canadian waterweed (Elodea canadensis), watershield (Brasenia sp.), pond lily (Nuphar sp.), purple marshlocks (Potentilla palustris), hoary sedge (Carex canescens) and common rush (Juncus effusus ssp. pacificus) (MDNR, 2005).

Environmental Requirements

The majority of aquatic carnivorous plants usually grow in soft or medium-hard, acid or neutral oligotrophy water with humic acid, which is favourable for the development of carnivorous aquatic plants in general (Adamec, 1997), including the rootless and free-floating bladderwort U. gibba, which is an obligate wetland species (US Fish and Wildlife Service, 1988).

U. gibba is specially adapted to low-nutrient environments such as bogs and swamps (Biosecurity New Zeland, 2008), and increases in abundance when the conditions change from oligotrophic to mesotropic; however, with further change in that direction it decreases in abundance (Preston and Croft, 1997). U. gibba prefers slow-moving, warm water and has moderate shade tolerance (NZPCN, 2010). These factors best explain the occurrence of U. gibba in New Zealand (Compton et al., 2012).

U. gibba appears to be restricted to shallow water, where it forms floating rafts amongst and on the immediate open edge of the reeds (HEAR, 2005). In New Zealand's lakes, where it is invasive, it appears to grow deeper than 3.0 m (Wells and Champion, 2010).

In its western area of distribution in the USA, it is found at altitudes of 50 to 150 m (MDNR, 2005). In China it is found from near sea level to 900 m (Zhenyu and Cheek, 2011), but can also be found as high as 2500 m (Taylor, 1989).

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 Tolerated < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Tolerated < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
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 Tolerated Continental climate with dry summer (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry summers)

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
50 40

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Rook (2004) reports that in America, U. gibba is occasionally eaten by muskrats, ducks and other waterfowl.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal (Non-Biotic)

U. gibba is likely to be spread by water movement (NZPCN, 2010).

Vector Transmission (Biotic)

U. gibba is predominantly dispersed in New Zealand by water fowl (Compton et al., 2012) as well by human activity via contaminated machinery, boats and trailers (NZPCN, 2010), or via contaminated nets for eels or with the release of grass carp (Wells and Champion, 2010).

Accidental Introduction

It is not reported to be introduced accidentally, but Salmon (2001) suggests that it may be self-introduced to northern New Zealand by water birds from eastern Australia.

Intentional Introduction

U. gibba is commonly cultivated as an ornamental plant and it may have been introduced originally as an aquarium plant (Webb et al., 1988). It has spread by escaping from garden ponds and dumped aquaria contents (NZPCN, 2010).

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Negative
Environment (generally) Negative

Economic Impact

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U. gibba forms mats over the water surface; in New Zealand it has been reported that this could be a problem for irrigation and drainage (Champion and Clayton, 2000; Biosecurity New Zealand, 2008).

Environmental Impact

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Impact on Habitats

In small and shallow water bodies, and especially when U. gibba is associated with epiphyton, it forms a dense mat which reduced light to plants growing beneath (Wells and Champion, 2010).

Impact on Biodiversity

In New Zealand, U. gibba has been identified as outcompeting and threatening native, endangered bladderworts including U. dichotoma and U. delicatula, and sundews including Drosera auriculata, D. peltata and the forked sundew D. binate (DOC 2005; HEAR, 2005; Biosecurity New Zealand, 2008).

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Drosera auriculataNo DetailsCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - shadingBiosecurity New Zealand, 2008; DOC, 2005; HEAR, 2005
Drosera binataNo DetailsCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - shadingBiosecurity New Zealand, 2008; DOC, 2005; HEAR, 2005
Drosera peltataNo DetailsCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - shadingBiosecurity New Zealand, 2008; DOC, 2005; HEAR, 2005
Utricularia delicatulaNo DetailsCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - shadingBiosecurity New Zealand, 2008; DOC, 2005; HEAR, 2005
Utricularia dichotomaNo DetailsCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - shadingBiosecurity New Zealand, 2008; DOC, 2005; HEAR, 2005

Social Impact

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U. gibba is reported as a weed in botanic gardens throughout the world; it poses no known harm to human health (Biosecurity New Zealand, 2008).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of natural benthic communities
  • Modification of nutrient regime
  • Reduced amenity values
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally illegally
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant

Detection and Inspection

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An interactive key for invasive plants in New Zealand has been developed by Dawson et al. (2010).

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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Utricularia species can be distinguished from all other plants by the bladders on the leaves when these are present. Otherwise, they can be distinguished by the finely dissected compound leaves which are divided in two; this is as opposed to Batrachian Ranunculus species, which are divided in three; or Cabomba caroliniana, which are divided more than three times. Plants are also not rooted in the substrate. U. gibba is difficult to distinguish from C. caroliniana in its vegetative condition, but it could be distinguished from other bladderworts by its bottom-creeping habit and by leaves which radiate from the base of the flower stalk.

In New Zealand, as regards non-native distribution, the only bladderwort resembling U. gibba is the rare U. protrusa, which has many-branched, filamentous leaves, 2-3 mm long bladders, 9 mm diameter flowers (rarely seen). It is found only in still, nutrient-poor water (NZPCN, 2010).

The internal glands of the bladders could be used in the identication of Utricularia species (Yuen-Po et al., 2009).

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.

U. gibba spreads naturally in its non-native range and is too widespread and to enable it to be managed effectively (Wells and Champion, 2010). It is difficult to control due to a lack of effective control methods and its aquatic habitat (Biosecurity New Zealand, 2008), as well as its resistance to sprays (HEAR, 2005).

Prevention

U. gibba is on the National Pest Plant Accord list; all the pest plants included on the list are designated as Unwanted Organisms and are banned from sale, propagation and distribution throughout New Zealand (Biosecurity New Zealand, 2008).

Early Warning Systems

U. gibba is included on the weed list of New Zealand and is included in early-warning biosecurity systems.

Public Awareness

In New Zealand, the regional council determines the status of U. gibba and is responsible for control and/or advice on control (Biosecurity New Zealand, 2008).

Physical/Mechanical Control

At small sites, such as in pools, it can be controlled by mechanical removal or by using weed matting.

Biological Control

Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (Lib.) de Bary, a naturally occurring pathogen of many weeds, has been tested on U. gibba but did not show any potential as a control agent (Waipara et al., 2006).

Chemical Control

No information is available on any chemical control methods attempted on this species.

Monitoring and Surveillance (incl. Remote Sensing)

U. gibba is included in Surveillance Pest Plants as a species that have been identified as having significant impacts on the biosecurity values of the Auckland region (New Zealand). This measure will reduce the further spread and establishment of the species throughout the region by prohibiting its sale, propagation, distribution and exhibition (Auckland Council, 2012).

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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Further work is needed on reproduction strategies in native and introduced ranges. More research needs to be carried out on control methods, including biocontrol studies, particularly in New Zealand, where U. gibba is already invasive.

References

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Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.

Contributors

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16/07/12 Original text by:

MA Duenas, consultant, Spain

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