Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Echinochloa crus-galli
(barnyard grass)

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Datasheet

Echinochloa crus-galli (barnyard grass)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 27 September 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Echinochloa crus-galli
  • Preferred Common Name
  • barnyard grass
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Monocotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • E. crus-galli is a grass species included in the Global Compendium of Weeds (Randall, 2012) and which is considered one of the world’s worst weeds. This species has the...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Echinochloa crusgalli (barnyard grass); inflorescence.
Titleinflorescence
CaptionEchinochloa crusgalli (barnyard grass); inflorescence.
Copyright©Michael Becker - CC BY-SA 3.0
Echinochloa crusgalli (barnyard grass); inflorescence.
inflorescenceEchinochloa crusgalli (barnyard grass); inflorescence.©Michael Becker - CC BY-SA 3.0
E. crus-galli seedlings. (Note red disc is 1 cm in diameter).
TitleSeedlings
CaptionE. crus-galli seedlings. (Note red disc is 1 cm in diameter).
CopyrightTomas Marquez/DuPont-Spain
E. crus-galli seedlings. (Note red disc is 1 cm in diameter).
SeedlingsE. crus-galli seedlings. (Note red disc is 1 cm in diameter).Tomas Marquez/DuPont-Spain
E. crus-galli seedlings.
TitleSeedlings
CaptionE. crus-galli seedlings.
CopyrightTomas Marquez/DuPont-Spain
E. crus-galli seedlings.
SeedlingsE. crus-galli seedlings.Tomas Marquez/DuPont-Spain
E. crus-galli: close-up of inflorescence and seeds.
TitleInflorescences
CaptionE. crus-galli: close-up of inflorescence and seeds.
CopyrightTomas Marquez/DuPont-Spain
E. crus-galli: close-up of inflorescence and seeds.
InflorescencesE. crus-galli: close-up of inflorescence and seeds.Tomas Marquez/DuPont-Spain
E. crus-galli inflorescences: note those with awns at (A) and those without awns at (B).
TitleInflorescences
CaptionE. crus-galli inflorescences: note those with awns at (A) and those without awns at (B).
CopyrightTomas Marquez/DuPont-Spain
E. crus-galli inflorescences: note those with awns at (A) and those without awns at (B).
InflorescencesE. crus-galli inflorescences: note those with awns at (A) and those without awns at (B).Tomas Marquez/DuPont-Spain
E. crus-galli seeds; note seeds are without awns.
TitleSeeds
CaptionE. crus-galli seeds; note seeds are without awns.
CopyrightTomas Marquez/DuPont-Spain
E. crus-galli seeds; note seeds are without awns.
SeedsE. crus-galli seeds; note seeds are without awns.Tomas Marquez/DuPont-Spain
E. crus-galli plant at start of tillering.
TitlePlant at tillering
CaptionE. crus-galli plant at start of tillering.
CopyrightTomas Marquez/DuPont-Spain
E. crus-galli plant at start of tillering.
Plant at tilleringE. crus-galli plant at start of tillering.Tomas Marquez/DuPont-Spain
Young E. crus-galli plant at tillering.
TitleYoung plant at tillering
CaptionYoung E. crus-galli plant at tillering.
CopyrightTomas Marquez/DuPont-Spain
Young E. crus-galli plant at tillering.
Young plant at tilleringYoung E. crus-galli plant at tillering.Tomas Marquez/DuPont-Spain
Field infestation of E. crus-galli.
TitleField infestation
CaptionField infestation of E. crus-galli.
CopyrightTomas Marquez/DuPont-Spain
Field infestation of E. crus-galli.
Field infestationField infestation of E. crus-galli.Tomas Marquez/DuPont-Spain
E. crus-galli spikelet.
TitleLine artwork of E. crus-galli
CaptionE. crus-galli spikelet.
CopyrightDavid Johnson
E. crus-galli spikelet.
Line artwork of E. crus-galliE. crus-galli spikelet.David Johnson
Leaves, inflorescence and ligule of E. crus-galli.
TitleLine artwork of E. crus-galli
CaptionLeaves, inflorescence and ligule of E. crus-galli.
CopyrightDavid Johnson
Leaves, inflorescence and ligule of E. crus-galli.
Line artwork of E. crus-galliLeaves, inflorescence and ligule of E. crus-galli.David Johnson
E. crus-galli lower leaf and ligule.
TitleLeaf blade - line drawing
CaptionE. crus-galli lower leaf and ligule.
CopyrightNOVARTIS
E. crus-galli lower leaf and ligule.
Leaf blade - line drawingE. crus-galli lower leaf and ligule.NOVARTIS
Sheath details of E. crus-galli plant. Note ligules and flowers.
TitleSheath details
CaptionSheath details of E. crus-galli plant. Note ligules and flowers.
CopyrightTomas Marquez/DuPont-Spain
Sheath details of E. crus-galli plant. Note ligules and flowers.
Sheath detailsSheath details of E. crus-galli plant. Note ligules and flowers.Tomas Marquez/DuPont-Spain

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) P.Beauv.

Preferred Common Name

  • barnyard grass

Other Scientific Names

  • Echinochloa caudata Roshev.
  • Echinochloa commutata Schult.
  • Echinochloa crus-corvi (L.) P.Beauv.
  • Echinochloa dubia Roem. & Schult.
  • Echinochloa echinata (Willd.) Nakai
  • Echinochloa formosensis (Ohwi) S.L.Dai
  • Echinochloa hispida (E.Forst.) Schult.
  • Echinochloa hispidula (Retz.) Nees ex Royle
  • Echinochloa macrocorvi Nakai
  • Echinochloa madagascariensis Mez
  • Echinochloa micans Kossenko
  • Echinochloa muricata (P. Beauv.) Fern.
  • Echinochloa occidentalis (Wiegand) Rydb.
  • Echinochloa paracorvi Nakai
  • Echinochloa spiralis Vasinger
  • Echinochloa subverticillata Pilger
  • Milium crus-galli (L.) Moench
  • Oplismenus crus-galli (L.) Dumort.
  • Oplismenus dubius (Roem. & Schult.) Kunth
  • Oplismenus echinatus (Willd.) Kunth
  • Panicum crus-galli L.
  • Panicum hispidulum Retz.
  • Pennisetum crus-galli (L.) Baumg.

International Common Names

  • English: barn grass; barnyard millet; chicken panic grass; cocksfoot panicum; cockspur; cockspur grass; German grass; Japanese millet; panicgrass; watergrass; wild millet
  • Spanish: arrocilla; arrocillo; cola de caballo; hualcacho; jaraz fina; mijo japonés; pagarropa; panicello; pasto rayado; pierna o pata de gallo; zacate de agua
  • French: bourgon; crête de coq; echinochloa pied-de-coq; ergot de coq; millard; panic pied-de-coq; patte de poule; pied de coq
  • Chinese: bai
  • Portuguese: canarana; capim-andrequicé; capim-capivara; capim-quicé; milha-maior; milha-pe-de-galo

Local Common Names

  • Argentina: arroz silvestre; cresta gallo; grama de agua; gramilla; pasto colorado
  • Australia: chicken panic
  • Bangladesh: sharma
  • Brazil: barbudinho
  • Cambodia: smao bek kbol
  • Cuba: arrocillo; pata de cao; pata de gallo
  • Czech Republic: ježatka kurí noha
  • Germany: Hahnenkammhirse; Hühnerhirse, Gemeine
  • India: kayada; sawank
  • Indonesia: padi burung
  • Indonesia/Java: dwajan
  • Italy: giavone
  • Japan: ta-in-ubie
  • Mexico: arroz silvestre; gramilla de rastrojo
  • Myanmar: myet-hi
  • Netherlands: hanepoot
  • Philippines: bayokibok; daua-daua
  • Sri Lanka: kutirai-val-pul; martu
  • Sweden: hönshirs
  • Thailand: hay kai mangda; ya-plong
  • Vietnam: song chong

EPPO code

  • ECHCG (Echinochloa crus-galli)
  • ECHCV (Echinochloa crus-pavonis)
  • ECHPU (Echinochloa muricata)
  • ECHSP (Echinochloa spiralis)

Summary of Invasiveness

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E. crus-galli is a grass species included in the Global Compendium of Weeds (Randall, 2012) and which is considered one of the world’s worst weeds. This species has the capability to reduce crop yields and cause forage crops to fail by removing up to 80% of the available soil nitrogen. E. crus-galli is considered the world’s worst weed in rice paddies and has been also listed as a weed in at least other 36 crops throughout tropical and temperate regions of the world (Holm et al., 1991). The high levels of nitrates it accumulates can poison livestock. It also acts as a host for several mosaic virus diseases. E. crus-galli is also considered an environmental weed that has become invasive in natural grasslands, coastal forests and disturbed sites in Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and America (FAO, 2014; USDA-ARS, 2014). 

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Monocotyledonae
  •                     Order: Cyperales
  •                         Family: Poaceae
  •                             Genus: Echinochloa
  •                                 Species: Echinochloa crus-galli

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Echinochloa is a tropical to warm-temperate genus of 40-50 species that are usually associated with wet or damp places. Many Echinochloa species are difficult to distinguish because they tend to intergrade.Echinochloa crus-galli is an Asian species that is now widely distributed throughout tropical and temperate regions of the world (USDA-ARS, 2014). Some taxonomists have interpreted E. crus-galli as just one species, while others have interpreted it much more widely and recognize several infraspecific taxa based on such characters as trichome length and abundance, and awn length. There are several ecological and physiological ecotypes within the species, but the correlation between most of these and the species morphological variation has not been established (Michael, 2003). 

Description

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E. crus-galli is an annual grass, culms 30-200 cm, spreading, decumbent or stiffly erect; nodes usually glabrous or the lower nodes puberulent. Sheaths glabrous; ligules absent, ligule region sometimes pubescent; blades to 65 cm long, 5-30 mm wide, usually glabrous, occasionally sparsely hirsute. Panicles 5-25 cm, with few-many papillose-based hairs at or below the nodes of the primary axes, hairs sometimes longer than the spikelets; primary branches 1.5-10 cm, erect to spreading, longer branches with short, inconspicuous secondary branches, axes scabrous, sometimes also sparsely hispid, hairs to 5 mm, papillose-based. Spikelets 2.5-4 mm long, 1.1-2.3 mm wide, disarticulating at maturity. Upper glumes about as long as the spikelets; lower florets sterile; lower lemmas unawned to awned, sometimes varying within a branch, awns to 50 mm; lower paleas subequal to the lemmas; upper lemmas broadly ovate to elliptical, coriaceous portion rounded distally, passing abruptly into an early-withering, acuminate, membranous tip that is further demarcated from the coriaceous portion by a line of minute hairs (use 25× magnification); anthers 0.5-1 mm. Caryopses 1.3-2.2 mm long, 1-1.8 mm wide, ovoid or oblong, brownish (Michael, 2003). 

Plant Type

Top of page Annual
Grass / sedge
Seed propagated

Distribution

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The origin of E. crus-galli remains obscure, but it is probably native to tropical Asia (USDA-ARS, 2014). Currently, E. crus-galli has a distribution extending from northern Europe, to the subtropics and to tropical regions from 50°N to 40°S. It is widespread in Europe, Asia and Australia, although is scarce in Africa (Clayton and Renvoize, 1986). E. crus-galli is an example of a plant which has become naturalized and widely distributed in the Mediterranean basin (Floc'h et al., 1991). It has been reported as a weed in 61 countries (Holm et al., 1991).

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

AfghanistanPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014Naturalized
BangladeshPresentIntroducedAli et al., 1988; Moody, 1989; Holm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014
BhutanPresentIntroducedParker, 1992; USDA-ARS, 2014Naturalized
Brunei DarussalamPresentIntroduced Invasive Moody, 1989; Waterhouse, 1993
CambodiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Moody, 1989; Waterhouse, 1993
ChinaPresentIntroduced Invasive Holm et al., 1991; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014
-AnhuiPresentIntroduced Invasive Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014
-FujianPresentLi, 1987
-GansuPresentZhang et al., 1992
-GuangdongPresentIntroduced Invasive Suzuki et al., 1990; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014
-GuangxiPresentIntroduced Invasive Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014
-GuizhouPresentIntroduced Invasive Wang, 1985; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014
-HebeiPresentIntroduced Invasive Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014
-HeilongjiangPresentChen and Lin, 1989; Ding et al., 1989
-HenanPresentFang and Wang, 1990
-HunanPresentIntroduced Invasive Gong and Li, 1991; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014
-JiangsuPresentIntroduced Invasive Xue and Dai, 1992; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014
-JiangxiPresentIntroduced Invasive Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014
-ShandongPresentWan et al., 1992
-YunnanPresentIntroduced Invasive Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014
-ZhejiangPresentZhou, 1989; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014
IndiaWidespreadMoody, 1989; Holm et al., 1991; Shukla, 1996
-Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPresentDagar et al., 1991
-Arunachal PradeshPresentIntroduced Invasive Shukla, 1996; Chandra-Sekar, 2012Weed
-AssamPresentIntroduced Invasive Kurmi and Das, 1993; Shukla, 1996; Chandra-Sekar, 2012
-BiharPresentShukla, 1996
-GujaratPresentGediya et al., 1989
-HaryanaPresentPanwar & Malik, 1992
-Himachal PradeshPresentIntroduced Invasive Kalia and Singh, 1993; Shukla, 1996; Chandra-Sekar, 2012
-Indian PunjabPresentRakesh et al., 1994
-Jammu and KashmirPresentShukla, 1996; Chandra-Sekar, 2012
-KarnatakaPresentShukla, 1996
-KeralaPresentVarghese and Nair, 1986
-Madhya PradeshPresentTiwari and Kurchania, 1990; Shukla, 1996
-MaharashtraPresentShukla, 1996
-ManipurPresentIntroduced Invasive Shukla, 1996; Chandra-Sekar, 2012
-MeghalayaPresentIntroduced Invasive Shukla, 1996; Chandra-Sekar, 2012
-MizoramPresentIntroduced Invasive Chandra-Sekar, 2012
-NagalandPresentIntroduced Invasive Shukla, 1996; Chandra-Sekar, 2012
-OdishaPresentShukla, 1996
-RajasthanPresentSharma et al., 1992
-SikkimPresentIntroduced Invasive Singh, 1992; Chandra-Sekar, 2012
-Tamil NaduPresentSrinivasan and Pothiraj, 1989; Shukla, 1996
-TripuraPresentIntroduced Invasive Chandra-Sekar, 2012
-Uttar PradeshPresentGhosh et al., 1993; Shukla, 1996
-UttarakhandPresentIntroduced Invasive Chandra-Sekar, 2012
-West BengalPresentShukla, 1996; Chandra-Sekar, 2012
IndonesiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Moody, 1989; Holm et al., 1991; Waterhouse, 1993
IranPresentIntroducedFatemi, 1979; Holm et al., 1991; Jafari and Moussavi, 1993; USDA-ARS, 2014
IraqPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014Naturalized
IsraelPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014Naturalized
JapanPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991; Morita, 1997; USDA-ARS, 2014
-HonshuPresentNakasuji, 1982; Nobuoka and Hosoda, 1992
-Ryukyu ArchipelagoPresentIntroducedPIER, 2014
Korea, DPRPresentIntroducedUmehara and Suzuki, 1992; USDA-ARS, 2014Naturalized
Korea, Republic ofPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014Naturalized
LaosPresentIntroducedMoody, 1989; USDA-ARS, 2014Naturalized
LebanonPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014Naturalized
MalaysiaPresentIntroducedMoody, 1989; Holm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresentHamed et al., 1988; Ito et al., 1992
MyanmarPresentIntroducedMoody, 1989; Holm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014
NepalPresentIntroducedMoody, 1989; Holm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014
PakistanPresentIntroducedMoody, 1989; Holm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014
PhilippinesPresentIntroducedMoody, 1989; Holm et al., 1991; Waterhouse, 1993
Sri LankaPresentIntroducedChandrasena, 1989; Moody, 1989; Holm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014
TaiwanPresentIntroducedOka, 1988; Holm et al., 1991; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014
ThailandPresentIntroducedMoody, 1989; Holm et al., 1991; Waterhouse, 1993
TurkeyPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014Naturalized
UzbekistanPresentIntroducedZhurakulor et al., 1988; USDA-ARS, 2014Naturalized
VietnamPresentIntroducedMoody, 1989; Holm et al., 1991; Waterhouse, 1993

Africa

EgyptPresentIntroducedHassan and Mahrous, 1989; Holm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014
GuineaPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014Naturalized
MadagascarPresentIntroducedMoreau, 1974; Holm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014
MauritiusPresentIntroduced Invasive Holm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014
MoroccoPresentIntroducedBouhache et al., 1983; Holm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014
MozambiquePresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014Naturalized
NamibiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Bethune et al., 2004
SenegalPresentIntroducedBerhaut, 1967; USDA-ARS, 2014Naturalized
South AfricaPresentIntroduced Invasive Holm et al., 1991; Foxcroft et al., 2003
SudanPresentIntroducedBraun et al., 1987; Holm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014
SwazilandPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014Naturalized
TanzaniaPresentIntroducedClayton and Renvoize, 1982; Holm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014
TunisiaPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014Naturalized
UgandaPresentIntroducedClayton and Renvoize, 1982; USDA-ARS, 2014Naturalized

North America

CanadaPresentHolm et al., 1991
-AlbertaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-British ColumbiaPresentIntroducedFreeman, 1986; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-ManitobaPresentIntroducedThomas and Donaghy, 1991; USDA-NRCS, 2014Naturalized
-New BrunswickPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014Naturalized
-Newfoundland and LabradorPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014Naturalized
-Nova ScotiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-OntarioPresentIntroducedvan Acker et al., 1993; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-Prince Edward IslandPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-QuebecPresentIntroduced Invasive Potvin, 1987; Simon and Hatch, 1994; Roy et al., 2000
-SaskatchewanPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
MexicoPresentIntroduced Invasive Holm et al., 1991; Vibrans, 2009
USAWidespreadHolm et al., 1991
-AlabamaPresentIntroducedStevens et al., 1990; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-AlaskaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-ArizonaPresentIntroducedKeeley and Thullen, 1993; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-ArkansasPresentIntroduced Invasive Vail and Oliver, 1993; USDA-NRCS, 2014Noxious weed
-CaliforniaPresentIntroducedWiley and Darlington, 1985; Keeley and Thullen, 1993; Norris, 1996; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-ColoradoPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-ConnecticutPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-DelawarePresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-District of ColumbiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-FloridaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-GeorgiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-HawaiiPresentIntroduced Invasive Holm et al., 1991; Wagner et al., 1999
-IdahoPresentIntroducedWiley and Darlington, 1985; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-IllinoisPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-IndianaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-IowaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-KansasPresentIntroduced Invasive Christian and Willis, 1993; USDA-NRCS, 2014Noxious weed
-KentuckyPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014Noxious weed
-LouisianaPresentIntroducedLanie et al., 1994; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-MainePresentIntroducedMorrow et al., 1986; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-MarylandPresentIntroducedWoon, 1986; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-MassachusettsPresentIntroducedBhowmik et al., 1986; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-MichiganPresentIntroducedChase & Putman, 1986; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-MississippiPresentIntroducedPotvin, 1987; Simon and Hatch, 1994; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-MissouriPresentIntroducedNaim, 1987; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-MontanaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-NebraskaPresentIntroducedValenti and Wicks, 1992; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-New HampshirePresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-New JerseyPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-New MexicoPresentIntroducedKeeley and Thullen, 1993; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-New YorkPresentIntroducedMt Pleasant & Schlather, 1994; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-North CarolinaPresentIntroducedPotvin, 1987; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-North DakotaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-OhioPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-OklahomaPresentIntroducedSmith et al., 1990; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-OregonPresentIntroducedWiley and Darlington, 1985; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-PennsylvaniaPresentIntroducedGuiser and Kuhns, 1988; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-Rhode IslandPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-South CarolinaPresentIntroducedTedford and Fortnum, 1988; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-South DakotaPresentIntroducedWrucke and Arnold, 1982; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-TennesseePresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-TexasPresentIntroducedChenault et al., 1986; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-UtahPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-VermontPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-VirginiaPresentIntroducedFoy and Witt, 1992; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-WashingtonPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-West VirginiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-WisconsinPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-WyomingPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014

Central America and Caribbean

BahamasPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012
Costa RicaPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991; Morales, 2003
CubaPresentIntroduced Invasive Antigua & Armenta-Soto, 1993; Holm et al., 1991; Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012
Dominican RepublicPresentIntroduced Invasive Holm et al., 1991; Kairo et al., 2003
GuadeloupePresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012
GuatemalaPresentIntroducedMorales, 2003
HaitiPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012
JamaicaPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991; Acevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012
NicaraguaPresentIntroducedMorales, 2003
Puerto RicoPresentIntroducedMás and Molinari, 1990Naturalized in disturbed areas

South America

ArgentinaPresentIntroduced Invasive Holm et al., 1991; Pace et al., 1991; IABIN, 2014
BrazilPresentHolm et al., 1991
-AmazonasPresentIntroducedShirasuna, 2014
-BahiaPresentIntroducedShirasuna, 2014
-CearaPresentIntroducedShirasuna, 2014
-Espirito SantoPresentIntroducedShirasuna, 2014
-MaranhaoPresentIntroducedShirasuna, 2014
-Mato GrossoPresentIntroducedShirasuna, 2014
-Mato Grosso do SulPresentIntroducedShirasuna, 2014
-Minas GeraisPresentIntroducedShirasuna, 2014
-ParaPresentIntroducedShirasuna, 2014
-ParanaPresentIntroduced Invasive I3N-Brasil, 2014
-PernambucoPresentIntroduced Invasive I3N-Brasil, 2014
-PiauiPresentIntroduced Invasive I3N-Brasil, 2014
-Rio de JaneiroPresentIntroducedShirasuna, 2014
-Rio Grande do NortePresentIntroduced Invasive I3N-Brasil, 2014
-Rio Grande do SulPresentIntroduced Invasive I3N-Brasil, 2014
-RoraimaPresentIntroducedShirasuna, 2014
-Santa CatarinaPresentIntroducedShirasuna, 2014
-Sao PauloPresentIntroduced Invasive I3N-Brasil, 2014
-TocantinsPresentIntroducedShirasuna, 2014
ChilePresentIntroduced Invasive Holm et al., 1991; IABIN, 2014
ColombiaPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991; Fischer et al., 1993; IABIN, 2014
EcuadorPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Galapagos IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive Charles Darwin Foundation, 2008
ParaguayPresentIntroduced Invasive IABIN, 2014
PeruPresentIntroducedCerna and Diaz, 1982; Holm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014
UruguayPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014
VenezuelaPresentIntroducedZuloaga and Morrone, 2003

Europe

AustriaPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014Naturalized
BelarusPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2014Naturalized
BelgiumPresentHolm et al., 1991; Claude and Everaere, 1992; DAISIE, 2014
BulgariaPresentHolm et al., 1991; Stoimenova and Mikova, 1992; DAISIE, 2014
CroatiaPresentKnezevic, 1991
Czech RepublicPresentMartinkova and Honek, 1993; DAISIE, 2014
Czechoslovakia (former)PresentHolm et al., 1991
DenmarkPresentIntroduced Invasive DAISIE, 2014
EstoniaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2014Naturalized
FinlandPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2014
FrancePresentHolm et al., 1991
GermanyPresentHilbig and Mahn, 1988; Holm et al., 1991; DAISIE, 2014
GreecePresentGiannopolitis et al., 1989; Holm et al., 1991
HungaryPresentHolm et al., 1991; Reisinger, 1992; DAISIE, 2014
IrelandPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2014
ItalyPresentHolm et al., 1991; Balsari et al., 1992; Zanin et al., 1992
-SardiniaPresentIntroduced Invasive DAISIE, 2014
LiechtensteinPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2014
NetherlandsPresentHolm et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2014
NorwayPresentBalvoll, 1985; DAISIE, 2014
PolandPresentHoldynski, 1991; Holm et al., 1991; Wozniak and Holdynski, 1991
PortugalPresentVasconcelos, 1989; Holm et al., 1991
-AzoresPresentIntroduced Invasive DAISIE, 2014
-MadeiraPresentIntroduced Invasive DAISIE, 2014
RomaniaPresentDiaconu, 1990; Holm et al., 1991
Russian FederationPresentHolm et al., 1991
-Central RussiaPresentShlyakova, 1977; Korzun, 1981
-Northern RussiaPresentKaunas, 1981
-Southern RussiaPresentLebershtein & Shokla, 1987
-Western SiberiaPresentMokshin, 1986
SlovakiaPresentStanova et al., 1987
SpainPresentPuiggros and Marques, 1989; Holm et al., 1991; DAISIE, 2014
SwedenPresentGranstrom, 1984; DAISIE, 2014
SwitzerlandPresentAmmon et al., 1976; USDA-ARS, 2014
UKPresentHafliger and Scholtz, 1980; DAISIE, 2014
-Channel IslandsPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2014
UkrainePresentGamor & Komendor, 1986; DAISIE, 2014
Yugoslavia (former)PresentHolm et al., 1991
Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)PresentKnezevic, 1990

Oceania

AustraliaPresentHolm et al., 1991
-Australian Northern TerritoryPresentIntroduced Invasive Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, 2011
-New South WalesPresentIntroduced Invasive McIntyre et al., 1991; Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, 2011
-QueenslandPresentIntroduced Invasive Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, 2011
-South AustraliaPresentIntroduced Invasive Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, 2011
-TasmaniaPresentIntroduced Invasive TDA, 1975; Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, 2011
-VictoriaPresentIntroducedHenderson et al., 1984; Code, 1990; Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, 2011
-Western AustraliaPresentIntroduced Invasive Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, 2011
FijiPresentIntroduced Invasive Holm et al., 1991; PIER, 2014
French PolynesiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Florence et al., 2013
KiribatiPresentIntroducedPIER, 2014
Marshall IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2014
Micronesia, Federated states ofPresentIntroduced Invasive Fosberg, et al., 1987
New CaledoniaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2014
New ZealandPresentHolm et al., 1991; Rahman et al., 1992
NiuePresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2014
Norfolk IslandPresentIntroduced Invasive Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, 2011
Papua New GuineaPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991; PIER, 2014
Solomon IslandsPresentIntroducedPIER, 2014
US Minor Outlying IslandsPresentIntroducedPIER, 2014
Wallis and Futuna IslandsPresentIntroducedPIER, 2014

History of Introduction and Spread

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Determining the date of introduction of E. crus-galli is very difficult, mainly because its native distribution range remains unclear and it has been widely cultivated as a fodder and forage crop in many tropical and subtropical regions of the world. In North America this species was probably introduced from Europe, and it was first recorded in California between 1825 and 1848 and in the Great Lakes Region in 1843 (USDA-NRCS, 2014). E. crus-galli was also recorded in Nova Scotia in 1829 and in Quebec in 1862. In Prince Edward Island its naturalization had occurred by 1888 (Maun and Barrett, 1986). For the West Indies, the oldest E. crus-galli herbarium collection available at the US National Herbarium was made in Bermuda in 1914. 

Risk of Introduction

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The risk of introduction of E. crus-galli is very high. This grass is a cosmopolitan weed which has been introduced repeatedly in tropical and subtropical regions to be used as fodder and forage (FAO, 2014). When growing under suitable environmental conditions (i.e., moist soils), it spreads rapidly and produces large amounts of seeds which can germinate or remain in the seed bank for several years (Waterhouse, 1994; PIER, 2014).   

Habitat

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E. crus-galli is widespread in warm temperate and subtropical regions of the world, extending into the tropics. It prefers open sunny places and is largely restricted to wet soils, from loams to clays. It can tolerate drier soils, but can also continue to grow when partially submerged. E. crus-galli growing in wetland rice fields was unaffected by submergence under 90 cm of natural floodwater for up to 40 days (Maun and Barrett, 1986).

Seeds have a marked dormancy of 3-4 months and do not germinate in water deeper than 12 cm; optimal soil temperatures for germination are 20-30°C (Soerjani et al., 1986). It is found at altitudes of up to 2500 m and has a great cold tolerance due to the higher activity of a protective enzyme (Roy et al., 2000; FAO, 2014).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Cultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Natural
Cultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed 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
Riverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Present, no further details Natural
Wetlands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Wetlands Present, no further details Natural
Arid regions Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Arid regions Present, no further details Natural
Littoral
Coastal areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coastal areas Present, no further details Natural
Freshwater
Irrigation channels Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Irrigation channels Present, no further details Natural
Rivers / streams Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rivers / streams Present, no further details Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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E. crus-galli can be a very serious weed in rice, maize, soya bean, lucerne, vegetables, root crops, orchards and vineyards. It has been reported to be a serious weed of 36 crops (Holm et al., 1991), particularly rice, where its similar habit and appearance make it difficult to distinguish when young.

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Allium cepa (onion)LiliaceaeMain
Arachis hypogaea (groundnut)FabaceaeMain
Beta vulgaris var. saccharifera (sugarbeet)ChenopodiaceaeMain
Brassica juncea var. juncea (Indian mustard)BrassicaceaeMain
Brassica napus var. napus (rape)BrassicaceaeMain
Brassica oleracea var. botrytis (cauliflower)BrassicaceaeMain
Brassica oleracea var. capitata (cabbage)BrassicaceaeMain
Cajanus cajan (pigeon pea)FabaceaeMain
Camellia sinensis (tea)TheaceaeMain
Capsicum annuum (bell pepper)SolanaceaeMain
CitrusRutaceaeMain
Coffea arabica (arabica coffee)RubiaceaeMain
Colocasia esculenta (taro)AraceaeMain
Corchorus (jutes)TiliaceaeMain
Crotalaria juncea (sunn hemp)FabaceaeMain
Cucumis sativus (cucumber)CucurbitaceaeMain
Fragaria (strawberry)RosaceaeMain
Glycine max (soyabean)FabaceaeMain
Gossypium hirsutum (Bourbon cotton)MalvaceaeMain
Helianthus annuus (sunflower)AsteraceaeMain
Hordeum (barleys)PoaceaeMain
Ipomoea batatas (sweet potato)ConvolvulaceaeMain
Manihot esculenta (cassava)EuphorbiaceaeMain
Medicago sativa (lucerne)FabaceaeMain
Musa (banana)MusaceaeMain
Nasturtium officinale (watercress)BrassicaceaeMain
Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco)SolanaceaeMain
Oryza sativa (rice)PoaceaeMain
Pennisetum glaucum (pearl millet)PoaceaeMain
Phleum pratense (timothy grass)PoaceaeMain
Pinus (pines)PinaceaeMain
Pisum (pea)FabaceaeMain
Ricinus communis (castor bean)EuphorbiaceaeMain
SaccharumPoaceaeMain
Saccharum officinarum (sugarcane)PoaceaeMain
Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)SolanaceaeMain
Solanum tuberosum (potato)SolanaceaeMain
Sorghum bicolor (sorghum)PoaceaeMain
Triticum aestivum (wheat)PoaceaeMain
Vitis (grape)VitaceaeMain
Zea mays (maize)PoaceaeMain

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number reported for E. crus-galli varies from 2n=36, 42, 48, 54 to 2n= 72 (FAO, 2014).

Physiology and Phenology

E. crus-galli will flower over a wide range of photoperiods (8-13 hour daylengths) and responds to short days by flowering quickly (Holm et al., 1991). Norris (1996) concluded that it was this plasticity in morphology and phenology that has contributed most to the success of E. crus-galli as a weed. The species is a C4 grass which overwinters as seed on or under the soil surface. Plants may be classified as summer-green which germinate in early summer, complete their life cycle during summer, and die after seed production in September and October (Maun and Barrett, 1986).

E. crus-galli shows great plasticity depending on the level of competition, soil fertility, soil moisture and daylength. In favourable conditions, it is capable of producing a large, competitive plant with a large number of panicles. In poor conditions or when exposed to short days, the plant may be small with only a few small panicles. In competition with maize and sorghum, it was reported to produce less than 3500 seeds per plant, but over 80,000 seeds per plant in low-competitive crops (Norris et al., 1996).

E. crus-galli seeds exhibit a high degree of primary dormancy at the time of ripening, which is partially and gradually lost after weeks of storage (Benvenuti et al., 1997). The relative degree of germination shows a strong dependence on light quality conditions, and heat shock is also effective for dormancy-breaking.

Seeds of two varieties of E. crus-galli germinate and grow for prolonged periods in a totally oxygen-free environment. E. crus-galli can germinate under a total nitrogen atmosphere and produces a seedling as large as rice, in spite of its much smaller seed size (Kennedy et al., 1980). It was concluded that oxygen deficiency may increase the proportion of dormant seeds in the soil, and affect the dynamics of the E. crus-galli seed bank (Honek and Martinkova, 1992). In experiments in north Japan, 80% of E. crus-galli var. oryzicola emerged within 20 days after sowing rice (Nishikawa et al., 1976).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
A - Tropical/Megathermal climate Preferred Average temp. of coolest month > 18°C, > 1500mm precipitation annually
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 Tolerated > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
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)

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 12 25

Rainfall Regime

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Uniform

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free
  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • infertile

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Cochliobolus lunatus Pathogen Seedlings
Cochliobolus sativus Pathogen Leaves/Seedlings
Enosima leucotaeniella Herbivore
Setosphaeria monoceras Pathogen Leaves/Seedlings

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Echinochloa crus-galli can be an alternative host for rice pests, such as the planthoppers Sogatella vibix, Nilaparvata lugens, S. furcifera and Laodelphax striatellus in China. Removal of E. crus-galli from rice fields was of some importance in controlling these planthoppers (Lei et al. 1983). However, studies in Japan showed that a compound in E. crus-galli var. oryzicola acted as an antifeedant, preventing infestation by N. lugens (Kim et al., 1976), and Sivapragasam (1983) revealed that the weed was favoured for oviposition by Cyrtorhinus lividipennis, an important predator of the eggs and adults of N. lugens.

Other rice pests cited as using E. crus-galli as an alternative food source include Nephotettix cincticeps in Taiwan (Chu et al., 1981), Lissorhoptrus brevirostris in Cuba (Meneses et al., 1979), larvae of Parnara guttatus in Japan (Nakasuji, 1982), Baliothrips biformis in India (Senapati and Satpathy, 1982), Chilo agamemnon in Egypt (Ahmed, 1984), Myllocerus undecimpustulatus in India (Budhraja et al, 1984), Cnaphalocrocis medinalis in India (Bharati et al., 1990) and Cletus punctiger adults in Japan (Ito, 1982).

In Malaysia, E. crus-galli serves as an important alternative food plant for the coreid pest Leptocorisa oratorius and the presence of these weeds in rice fields during fallow periods allows the pest to survive (Shah, 1989). In California, USA, weed control was also suggested as a productive strategy for preventing diseases spread by the cicadellids Draeculacephala minerva and Carneocephala fulgida, vectors of Pierce's disease bacterium to grape and lucerne (Purcell and Frazier, 1985). Rhopalosiphum maidis is another vector that has been recorded on E. crus-galli, involved in the spread of barley yellow dwarf luteovirus (BYDV) in barley (Karl and Proeseler, 1980). E. crus-galli was found to be an important reservoir of the aphid and BYDV (Geissler and Karl, 1989).

Fungal pathogens that have been suggested as biocontrol agents include Cochliobolus lunatus (Scheepens, 1987; Tsukamoto, 1997) and Exserohilum monoceras [Septosphaeria monoceras] (Gohbara et al., 1996; Zhang and Watson, 1997a, 1997b, 1997c, 1997d). Tosiah et al. (2009) surveyed native fungal pathogens found on E. crus-galli in Malaysia, and isolated 82 strains from 12 fungal genera. E. monoceras was most consistently associated with diseased plants.

E. crus-galli has also shown to be an alternate host to wheat streak mosaic rymovirus (WSMV) in Kansas, USA (Christian and Willis, 1993), Ustilago trichophora (Muller, 1985), Pythium arrhenomanes (Dissanayake et al., 1997) and Magnaporthe grisea (Du et al., 1997). As a host of plant parasitic nematodes, E. crus-galli has been observed heavily infested with Meloidogyne graminicola in rice fields in the Punjab, India (Kaul and Chhabra, 1989). Anwar et al. (1992) reported seven plant-parasitic nematode genera inhabiting the roots and rhizosphere soil of E. crus-galli growing in crop fields in Pakistan.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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E. crus-galli spreads only by seed, and its high capacity for seed production allows large populations to rapidly establish. Seeds can be dispersed by wind, water or as a contaminant in soil, seed crops, and agricultural machinery. 

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Crop productionCommon weed in rice Yes Yes Maun and Barrett, 1986
ForagePlanted as a forage and fodder crop Yes Yes FAO, 2014
People foragingGrains eaten by humans in times of scarcity Yes Yes FAO, 2014

Pathway Vectors

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Economic Impact

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Impacts in rice: E. crus-galli is reported to be among the three most serious weeds of rice in many countries in Asia, and is a major weed in a wide range of crops throughout the tropical and subtropical world (Holm et al., 1991). It competes with crops for nutrients, water and light. In India, Varghese and Nair (1986) concluded that it competed with transplanted rice for N and K during days 11-50 and for P during days 21-40 after planting.

Most evidence for the economic effects of E. crus-galli is from rice, and a range of studies have measured the losses caused in this crop. In transplanted rice in Sri Lanka, the threshold density of E. crus-galli for season-long competition was 5 plants per square m, at which level grain yield losses were 8-17% (Senanayake et al., 1986). In Brazil, season-long infestation reduced yields by 45% (Velez, 1982). In Malaysia, it was estimated that using a scale of 1-10 (10 = complete weed cover) there was a 7% rice yield loss for every unit increase of E. crus-galli infestation compared with no infestation (Lo et al., 1992).

In China, Gu and Zhao (1984) note that E. crus-galli infests seedbeds and is often transplanted with the crop. It may then grow faster than the crop and compete for light. One E. crus-galli plant per 3 rice plants per hill reduced yield by 38%. When the weed only germinates after transplanting, damage may be much less. Chisaka (1977) showed losses of 16% when 20 E. crus-galli/m2 germinated soon after transplanting but no reduction if germination was delayed for 12 days. In other studies in Japan, Chisaka (1977) showed that E. crus-galli was much more competitive than Monochoria vaginalis. He also showed that competition was for both nutrients and light and that additional nitrogen in the top-dressing could result in increased competition (12% loss compared with 9% loss with basal fertilizer only) presumably due to more luxuriant growth and increased competition for light.

In Malaysia, the adoption of double cropping and more rapidly maturing cultivars and a shift from transplanting to direct sowing has resulted in grasses such as E. crus-galli and Leptochloa chinensis largely replacing the previously dominant broadleaved weeds and sedges (Ho and Zuki, 1988). In the Korean Republic, E. crus-galli was a dominant weed in rotations under paddy and upland conditions (Ku et al., 1997).

Not all rice varieties are equally affected by E. crus-galli. In Japan, Chisaka (1977) and Murakami et al. (1978) showed that losses are generally more acute in early-maturing rice varieties. Likewise, Smith (1974) showed that among American varieties, the earlier-maturing Bluebelle and Nova 66 were more seriously affected than the later maturing Starbonnet. Lin et al. (1998) also showed that inbred lines of rice were more susceptible than hybrids. Other work suggests that certain varieties are less affected because they cause allelopathic suppression of the E. crus-galli. Dilday et al. (1998) report that while control varieties were reduced 60 and 68%, the best of the varieties selected for their allelopathic effect was reduced only 37%. Gealy et al. (1998) also demonstrated only 30% reduction of one of these supposedly allelopathic varieties (PI 312777) compared with 70% reduction of Kaybonnet, but doubted whether this difference was altogether due to allelopathy.

Impacts in maize: Results of crop loss studies in maize show high variability. Spitters et al. (1989) showed that in 2 successive years an infestation of 100 E. crus-galli/m2 caused 8% loss in the first and 82% loss in the second year. In Canada, Bosnic and Swanton (1997) showed that losses could be 26-35% after early weed emergence but less than 6% from late emergence. In the Czech Republic, Martinkova and Honek (1998) noted that losses were worse under dry conditions. In Poland, E. crus-galli competed strongly with maize, causing 28, 56, 65 and 80% yield loss when left for 2, 3, 4 and 5 weeks after emergence (Rola, 1986; Rola, undated). Staas-Ebregt (1979) reported significant loss if weeding of E. crus-galli was delayed beyond the 10-11 leaf stage. There is also some evidence for further effects via allelopathy on maize (Bhowmik and Doll, 1980). 

Impacts in sorghum:Wiese et al. (1981) estimated losses equivalent to 20% from 100 E. crus-galli/m of row but noted that they were variable. Smith et al. (1990) recorded sorghum yield losses from 192 E. crus-galli /m of 12, 13, 18, 35 and 44% when they were allowed to compete for 2, 4, 6, 8 or 12 weeks, respectively.

Impacts in soyabeans: In soyabean, Vail and Oliver (1993) recorded losses of 10, 25 and 50% yield loss from infestations of 42, 110 and 250 per m of row, respectively. You (1995) further showed that infestation by E. crus-galli results in a lowering of seed protein, especially under dry conditions.

Impacts in other crops:E. crus-galli was one of the most widespread weeds during the first year of lucerne grown for fodder in the central forest steppe zone of the Ukraine, with only 5 weeds per square m resulting in a yield reduction of 16.4% (Borona and Karasevich, 1994). In the USA, E. crus-galli caused 30% kill of young lucerne, and reduced yield in the following year (Fischer et al., 1987), while Dawson and Rincker (1982) recorded 80% yield reduction from an infestation of 75 E. crus-galli/m of row.

In cotton, infestation of E. crus-galli for 6, 9, 12 and 25 weeks caused 21, 59, 90 and 97% yield loss, respectively (Keeley and Thullen, 1991). In tomato, 16 E. crus-galli/m of row caused a 26% reduction in yield of fruit and 64 E. crus-galli/m of row caused 84% reduction - even though there was no reduction of vegetative growth (Bhomik and Reddy, 1988). In another study on tomato, Caussanel et al. (1989) recorded 55% yield loss from an E. crus-galli infestation. In sugarbeet, Norris (1992) measured an 80% loss from 10 E. crus-galli/m of row and 5-20% loss from 1 plant per 2-3 m row. The short-term economic threshold was as low as 1 E. crus-galli per 5-20 m of row, but even this level could be considered undesirable in the long-term because of prolific seed production by surviving plants.

In potato in Poland, infestation of 4-8 E. crus-galli/10m2can cause 11% yield reduction (Ratajczyk, 1993). In the USA, Vangessel and Renner (1990) showed that losses depended on whether the weed was growing in the rows or between them. In two successive years, losses were about 20, 30 and 40% from infestations of 1, 2 and 4 E. crus-galli/m of row, within the row, but negligible when the same numbers occurred between the rows.

Beyond the yield losses and costs of weeding, Norris (1996) points out that in irrigated crops such as sugarbeet and tomato, a population of E. crus-galli could increase costs by $20/ha as a result of wastage of irrigation water.

In addition to losses to crop yield and quality, and additional weed control costs, E. crus-galli is an alternative host to a wide range of crop pests (see Natural Enemies section).

Environmental Impact

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E. crus-galli grows as a weed of waterways, swamps, wetlands and other damp habitats as well as roadsides, waste areas and disturbed sites altering successional processes and outcompeting native vegetation. This species has been listed as an environmental weed in Canada, the United States, Brazil, and Australia where it is ranked among the top 200 most invasive plant species (Queensland Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries, 2011). 

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)
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
Impact outcomes
  • Altered trophic level
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of fire regime
  • Modification of hydrology
  • Modification of nutrient regime
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Negatively impacts cultural/traditional practices
  • Reduced amenity values
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Soil accretion
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Allelopathic
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Competition - smothering
  • Competition - strangling
  • Pest and disease transmission
  • Poisoning
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

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E. crus-galli is a good fodder grass and is sometimes cultivated for this purpose (Purseglove, 1972), but has too high a water content to be used alone (Soerjani et al., 1986). The grains are eaten in time of scarcity and the young shoots are eaten as a vegetable in Java (Purseglove, 1972). In Egypt it is used for the reclamation of saline soils.

Uses List

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Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Fodder/animal feed
  • Forage

Environmental

  • Host of pest

Human food and beverage

  • Cereal
  • Vegetable

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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There is much introgression between species of the genus, making unambiguous key characters difficult to categorize (Clayton and Renvoize, 1982). Annual or perennial habit can be a most useful means of distinguishing between Echinochloa species, although this is not always reliable. Echinochloa pyramidalis and E. stagnina are perennials, whereas E. crus-pavonis has been described as both annual and perennial.

  • Echinochloa crus-pavonis may be distinguished from E. crus-galli by the larger inflorescence, racemes being distinctly compound with short secondary branchlets, and smaller spikelets 2-3 mm long. It occurs in South America, Southern USA and Mexico, West Indies, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Echinochloaglabrescens is similar to E. crus-galli, but spikelets are glabrous, 3.5 mm long, lower lemma shiny; awnless or occasionally awned. Erect or occasionally with spreading habit, well adapted to wet soils, found in fields, margins and fallow land. Its distribution extends from Afghanistan, the Indian subcontinent, through South-East Asia, China, Taiwan, Korea, and southern Japan to the Philippines (Michael, 1983; Shukla, 1996). Singh (1986) proposed that the species be merged with E. crus-galli, and it was regarded as synonymous with E. crus-galli by Cope (1982).
  • Echinochloa pyramidalis is perennial, rhizomatous, with robust, erect culms, 1-4 m high. Leaf blades about 8-60 cm long, 0.5-2.5 cm wide, stiff; ligule of a line of hairs. Inflorescence ovate to narrowly lanceolate, 8-40 cm long, racemes 20 or more, simple or compound 2-30 cm long; main and branch axis glabrous or hispidulous. Spikelets narrowly ovate to broadly elliptic, 2.5-3.5 mm long, glabrous to hispid, usually awnless. Occurs throughout Africa, from Sudan, Senegal to South Africa, Madagascar, India and Australia. It has been introduced in the Lesser Antilles, Mexico, Central America, and South America (Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012). It is usually found on stream or river banks, drains, field margins and swamps rather than as a weed of crops.
  • Echinochloa stagnina is perennial (sometimes annual), rhizomatous with spongy stems, 30-200 cm tall, decumbent and rooting at the nodes. Leaf blades 10-45 cm long, 3-20 mm wide; ligule a line of stiff hairs; sheath glabrous or rarely hispid, pale midrib. Inflorescence ovate to narrowly lanceolate, 6-25 cm long, erect to nodding, racemes simple, 5-30, variable, 2-8 cm long; spikelets narrowly ovate 3.5-6 mm long hispid, upper glume with awn to 4 mm long or without, lower floret male or barren with awn generally 3-20 mm long. It often forms floating mats along riversides and lakes with floating stems and rhizomes. E. stagnina is not usually a problem of fields, but can infest drains and canals. In Africa, it is known as a fodder grass and is also used as an alternative famine food source (Soerjani et al., 1986).

Prevention and Control

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Cultural Control

Hand weeding can be effective if adequate labour is available, but when young, E. crus-galli is hard to distinguish from young rice, making hand weeding very difficult.

Bhatia et al. (1990) found that high populations of E. crus-galli in rice fields were due to new seed added every season. Pot and field studies revealed that 97.7% of the seed reserves were exhausted in one season, and by the third season the soil was free of viable seed. Farmyard manure and other organic fertilizers can be major sources of weed seeds, including E. crus-galli, but these lose their viability after being subjected to anaerobic fermentation for one month (Sarapatka et al., 1993).

Deep water flooding (up to 22 cm) can provide good control of E. crus-galli in rice (Williams et al., 1990). Water-sowing, a method of direct-broadcast sowing of rice, began in California, USA, during the 1920s as a cultural method to control E. crus-galli var. crus-galli by continuously-flooded water management (Seaman, 1983).

The use of Azolla in transplanted irrigated rice failed to suppress E. crus-galli var. hispidula, which increased by 226.4%, whereas some weeds were suppressed (Janiya and Moody, 1984). Field and laboratory studies in Asia have indicated that some rice cultivars exhibited strong allelopathic effects against E. crus-galli (Olofsdotter et al., 1996; Chung et al., 1997).

Chung (1995) found that dried lucerne residues inhibited germination and seedling growth of the weeds E. crus-galli, Siegesbechia viridis and Portulaca oleracea, as well as several crops.

Different tillage systems in soyabean and maize fields in northern Italy have been shown to profoundly alter the weed community, with species linked to increased disturbance being annuals, such as E. crus-galli (Sarapatka et al., 1993).

Biological Control

Tsukamoto (1997) describes using virulent isolates of Exserohilum monoceras (anamorph of Septosphaeria monoceras) and Cochliobolus sativus to achieve an approximate 80% reduction in dry matter of different botanical varieties of E. crus-galli.Zhang (1997a) studied optimal temperature and dew-point for the development of E. monoceras on E. crus-galli and E. colonum after inoculation. E. monoceras continues to be the most studied potential biocontrol agent, with Tosiah et al. (2011) evaluating its effects at different leaf development stages and on different varieties of E. crus-galli. In surveys in Malaysia, Tosiah et al. (2009) found E. monoceras, E. longirostratum and Curvularia lunata [Cochliobolus lunatus] among the fungi present on diseased E. crus-galli plants. E. monoceras was consistently found associated with the disease, virulent, stable and with the ability to produce spores profusely in culture, suggesting that it could be used as a biocontrol agent.

Li Jing et al. (2013) evaluated Cochliobolus lunatus as a potential mycoherbicide for barnyard grass, and found that one particular virulent strain was highly pathogenic at the 1- to 2.5-leaf stages, and was safe to rice. It is suggested that this strain could be a potential mycoherbicide for barnyardgrass control in paddy fields in the future. Zhang et al. (2014) found high mortality in E. crus-galli from a strain of Bipolaris eleusines, with no pathogenicity to rice, maize or wheat. Jyothi et al. (2013) report trials with C. lunatus and Alternaria alternata, achieving 100% mortality of the target weed and no effect on rice.

In a review of research progress on mycoherbicides for control of E. crus-galli in rice in China, Zhang et al. (2011) suggest that mass production and formulation technologies have proved to be the major stumbling blocks that hinder bioherbicide development.

A zearalenone derivative extracted from Drechslera portulacae, a pathogen of purslane (Portulaca oleracea), inhibited root length of E. crus galli and Abutilon threophrasti in pot experiments (Kim, 1994; Kim et al., 1994).

Chemical Control

The use of herbicides against E. crus-galli has been widespread and it is susceptible to a wide range of herbicides used in rice cultivation, including butachlor, butralin, cinmethylin, chlomethoxyfen, fenoxaprop, glyphosate, molinate, oxadiazon, oxyfluorfen, paraquat, pendimethalin, piperophos, pretilachlor, propanil, quinclorac and thiobencarb (Ampong-Nyarko and de Datta, 1991).

Field trials in the Korea Republic showed that 2 applications of herbicide using butachlor or thiobencarb 3 days after sowing and followed by tank-mixed bentazone + quinclorac 50 days after sowing were necessary to control E. crus-galli (Seong et al., 1991). Studies in the USA showed late-season control with pendimethalin + quinclorac was more effective than pendimethalin, quinclorac, thiobencarb, or pendimethalin + thiobencarb. Control using pendimethalin, quinclorac and pendimethalin + thiobencarb exceeded that with thiobencarb. Propanil + molinate controlled E. crus-galli more effectively than propanil (Jordan et al., 1998).

The introduction and spread of E. oryzoides and E. phyllopogon in California, USA, have caused rice farmers to rely on herbicides such as molinate or propanil to protect the crop from serious losses in yield and grain quality. Propanil-resistant E. crus-galli was initially found in Arkansas, USA, during 1990, and was the result of dependence upon propanil for a long period (Baldwin et al., 1995). Propanil formulations tank-mixed with quinclorac, thiobencarb or pendimethalin were effective for controlling resistant and susceptible biotypes when applied post-emergence, whereas quinclorac and mixtures of quinclorac with pendimethalin and thiobencarb were very effective when applied pre-emergence. Malik et al. (1996) reported herbicide resistance in E. crus-galli against butachlor and thiobencarb (China and Egypt). In Spain, E. crus-galli var. hispidula (in rice) showed resistance to quinclorac, whereas E. crus-galli var. crus-galli (in maize), showed resistance to atrazine (Lopez-Martinez et al., 1997). An analysis of 4 isoenzymes from 3 different biotypes of E. crus-galli with tolerance to quinclorac from Spain showed different enzyme PAGE patterns (Monte et al., 1997).

In the Philippines, Juliano et al. (2010) confirmed for the first time that E. crus-galli populations were resistant to both chloroacetamide (butachlor)- and acetanilide (propanil)-group herbicides commonly used in direct-seeded rice in the Philippines. In Arkansas, Riar et al. (2012) describe resistance to acetolactate synthase (ALS)-inhibiting herbicides. Panozzo et al. (2013) also found resistance to at least one ALS-inhibiting herbicide in 14 E. crus-galli populations in Italy. It is suggested that ALS-resistant, and especially ALS- and ACCase multiple resistant barnyardgrass are threatening the sustainability of Italian rice crops due to the lack of alternative post-emergence herbicides.

Ma et al. (2014) discuss the control of quinclorac-resistant E. crus-galli in China, and found that that penoxsulam and bispyribac-sodium gave effective control.

References

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27/06/14 Updated 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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