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Utricularia gibba

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Datasheet

Utricularia gibba

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 22 November 2019
  • 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).

Plant Type

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Perennial
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated

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.

Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

AlgeriaPresent, Few occurrencesNativeCABI (Undated); Original citation: Greuter et al. (1984)
AngolaPresentNativeGBIF (2012)
BotswanaPresentNativeCABI (Undated)Original citation: Africa Plants Database (2012)
BurundiPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
CameroonPresentNativeGBIF (2012)
Congo, Democratic Republic of thePresentNativeGBIF (2012)
Côte d'IvoirePresentNativeGBIF (2012)
EgyptPresent, Few occurrencesNativeCABI (Undated); Original citation: Greuter et al. (1984)
EswatiniPresentNativeCABI (Undated)Original citation: Africa Plants Database (2012)
EthiopiaPresentNativeGBIF (2012)
GabonPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
KenyaPresentNativeGBIF (2012)
LesothoPresentNativeCABI (Undated)Original citation: Africa Plants Database (2012)
LiberiaPresentNativeGBIF (2012)
LibyaPresent, Few occurrencesNativeCABI (Undated); Original citation: Greuter et al. (1984)
MadagascarPresentNativeCABI (Undated)Original citation: Africa Plants Database (2012)
MauritiusPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
MoroccoPresent, Few occurrencesNativeCABI (Undated); Original citation: Greuter et al. (1984)
NamibiaPresentNativeCABI (Undated)Original citation: Africa Plants Database (2012)
RwandaPresentNativeGBIF (2012)
SenegalPresentNativeGBIF (2012)
Sierra LeonePresentNativeGBIF (2012)
South AfricaPresentNativeCABI (Undated)Original citation: Africa Plants Database (2012)
SudanPresentNativeGBIF (2012)
TanzaniaPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
TunisiaPresent, Few occurrencesNativeCABI (Undated); Original citation: Greuter et al. (1984)
UgandaPresentNativeGBIF (2012)
ZambiaPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
ZimbabwePresentNativeGBIF (2012)

Asia

ChinaPresentCABI (Undated a)Present based on regional distribution.
-AnhuiPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
-ChongqingPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
-FujianPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
-GuangdongPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
-GuangxiPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
-HainanPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
-HenanPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
-HubeiPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
-HunanPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
-JiangsuPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
-YunnanPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
-ZhejiangPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
IndiaPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
IndonesiaPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
IsraelPresentNativeCABI (Undated)Original citation: Greuter et al. (1984)
JapanPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
JordanPresentNativeCABI (Undated)Original citation: Greuter et al. (1984)
MalaysiaPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
MyanmarPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
NepalPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
PhilippinesPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
Sri LankaPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
TaiwanPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
ThailandPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
VietnamPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)

Europe

FrancePresentNativeGBIF (2012)
HungaryPresentIntroducedDAISIE (2012)
PortugalPresentNativeCABI (Undated); Menezes and Silva (2008)Original citation: Greuter et al. (1984)
SerbiaPresentIntroducedDAISIE (2012)
SlovakiaPresentIntroducedDAISIE (2012)
SpainPresent, Few occurrencesNativeCABI (Undated)southwest region; Original citation: Greuter et al. (1984)

North America

BahamasPresentNativeGBIF (2012)
BelizePresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
CanadaPresentCABI (Undated a)Present based on regional distribution.
-British ColumbiaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-New BrunswickPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-Nova ScotiaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-OntarioPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-QuebecPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
Costa RicaPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
El SalvadorPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
GuadeloupePresentNativeGBIF (2012)
GuatemalaPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
HondurasPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
JamaicaPresentNativeGBIF (2012)
MartiniquePresentNativeGBIF (2012)
MexicoPresentNativeOlvera (1996); Missouri Botanical Garden (2012)
NicaraguaPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
PanamaPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
Puerto RicoPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
Trinidad and TobagoPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
United StatesPresentCABI (Undated a)Present based on regional distribution.
-AlabamaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-ArizonaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-ArkansasPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-CaliforniaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-ConnecticutPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-DelawarePresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-FloridaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-GeorgiaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-HawaiiPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-IllinoisPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-IndianaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-IowaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-KansasPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-KentuckyPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-LouisianaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-MainePresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-MarylandPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-MassachusettsPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-MichiganPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-MinnesotaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-MontanaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-New HampshirePresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-New JerseyPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-New YorkPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-North CarolinaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-OhioPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-OklahomaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-OregonPresent, Few occurrencesNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-PennsylvaniaAbsent, Formerly presentUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-Rhode IslandPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-South CarolinaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-TennesseePresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-TexasPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-VermontPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-VirginiaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-WashingtonPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-West VirginiaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)
-WisconsinPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2012)

Oceania

Australia
-New South WalesPresentNativeRowe and Brown (1992)
-QueenslandPresentNativeRowe and Brown (1992)
-South AustraliaPresentNativeCHAH (2009)
-VictoriaPresentNativeCHAH (2009)
-Western AustraliaPresentNativeRowe and Brown (1992)
New CaledoniaPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
New ZealandPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011); FBIS (2005); Biosecurity New Zealand (2008); Wells and Champion (2010)
PalauPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)
Papua New GuineaPresentNativeZhenyu and Cheek (2011)

South America

ArgentinaPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
BoliviaPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
BrazilPresentCABI (Undated a)Present based on regional distribution.
-BahiaPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
-Espirito SantoPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
-ParanaPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
-Santa CatarinaPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
ChilePresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
ColombiaPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
EcuadorPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
French GuianaPresentNativeGBIF (2012)
GuyanaPresentNativeGBIF (2012)
ParaguayPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
PeruPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
UruguayPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)
VenezuelaPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2012)

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).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Fisheries Yes Wells and Champion, 2010
Pet trade Yes Webb et al., 1988

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Host and vector organismsWater fowl Yes Compton et al., 2012
Machinery and equipment Yes NZPCN, 2010
Water Yes 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

Uses List

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General

  • Pet/aquarium trade

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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Gordon E; Pacheco S, 2007. Prey composition in the carnivorous plants Utricularia inflata and U. gibba (Lentibulariaceae) from Paria Peninsula, Venezuela. Revista de Biologia Tropica, 55(3-4):795-803.

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Howell C, 2008. Consolidated list of environmental weeds in New Zealand. DOC Research and Development Series, No.292:42 pp.

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Distribution References

Biosecurity New Zealand, 2008. National Plant Pest Accord., Wellington, New Zealand: MAF Biosecurity. 134 pp.

CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI

CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI

CABI, Undated b. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI

CHAH, 2009. Australian Plant Census. In: Integrated Botanical Information System (IBIS), Canberra, Australia: Australian National Herbarium. http://www.anbg.gov.au/cgi-bin/wintab

DAISIE, 2012. Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe. http://www.europe-aliens.org/

FBIS, 2005. New Zealand distribution of Utricularia gibba., Auckland, New Zealand: NIWA; Freshwater Biodata Information System (FBIS) (online). https://secure.niwa.co.nz/fbis/displaycommonsearches.do?newSearch=true

GBIF, 2012. Global Biodiversity Information Facility. http://www.gbif.org/species

Menezes M, Silva C, 2008. Contribution to the knowledge of amphibious communities in southern Portugal. (Contribuicao para o conhecimento das comunidades anfibias no sul de Portugal). In: Acta Botanica Brasilica, 22 (3) 771-781.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012. Tropicos database., St Louis, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden. http://www.tropicos.org/

Olvera M, 1996. The genus Utricularia (Lentibulariaceae) in Mexico. (El Genero Utricularia (Lentibulariaceae) en Mexico). In: Anales del instituto de biologia de la universidad nacional autonoma de Mexico. Serie Botanica (Annals of the Institute of Biology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Botanical Series), 67 (2) 347-384.

Rowe R, Brown EA, 1992. New South Wales Flora Online: Utricularia gibba. In: New South Wales Flora Online, Sydney, Australia: Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust. http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgiin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Utriculariãgibba

USDA-NRCS, 2012. The PLANTS Database. Greensboro, North Carolina, USA: National Plant Data Team. https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov

Wells R, Champion P, 2010. Northland Lakes Ecological Status 2010. NIWA Project: NRC10202., Hamilton, New Zealand: National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research Ltd.

Zhenyu L, Cheek MR, 2011. Flora of China., [ed. by Wu ZY, Raven PH, Hong DY]. Beijing; St Louis, China; USA: Science Press; Missouri Botanical Garden Press.

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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