Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Eucalyptus globulus
(Tasmanian blue gum)

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Datasheet

Eucalyptus globulus (Tasmanian blue gum)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 20 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Eucalyptus globulus
  • Preferred Common Name
  • Tasmanian blue gum
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • E. globulus varies from a multi-stemmed shrub on exposed sites, to a medium-sized woodland tree up to 20 m tall, to a very tall forest tree up to 70-80 m tall with a large open crown. Although found mainly in T...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Remnant tree, northeast Tasmania.
TitleTree habit
CaptionRemnant tree, northeast Tasmania.
CopyrightCraig Gardiner/ATSC
Remnant tree, northeast Tasmania.
Tree habitRemnant tree, northeast Tasmania.Craig Gardiner/ATSC
Coastal woodland form northeast Tasmania.
TitleCoastal woodland form
CaptionCoastal woodland form northeast Tasmania.
CopyrightCraig Gardiner/ATSC
Coastal woodland form northeast Tasmania.
Coastal woodland formCoastal woodland form northeast Tasmania.Craig Gardiner/ATSC
Stand of E. globulus. Southeast Tasmania.
TitleStand
CaptionStand of E. globulus. Southeast Tasmania.
CopyrightCraig Gardiner/ATSC
Stand of E. globulus. Southeast Tasmania.
StandStand of E. globulus. Southeast Tasmania.Craig Gardiner/ATSC
North of Hobart, Tasmania.
TitleStand
CaptionNorth of Hobart, Tasmania.
CopyrightCraig Gardiner/ATSC
North of Hobart, Tasmania.
StandNorth of Hobart, Tasmania.Craig Gardiner/ATSC
Tasmania.
TitleBark
CaptionTasmania.
CopyrightCraig Gardiner/ATSC
Tasmania.
BarkTasmania.Craig Gardiner/ATSC
Vegetatively mature cutting, Portugal.
TitleMature cutting
CaptionVegetatively mature cutting, Portugal.
CopyrightKen Eldridge/CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products
Vegetatively mature cutting, Portugal.
Mature cuttingVegetatively mature cutting, Portugal.Ken Eldridge/CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products
TitleBranchlet with buds
Caption
CopyrightCraig Gardiner/ATSC
Branchlet with budsCraig Gardiner/ATSC

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Eucalyptus globulus Labill.

Preferred Common Name

  • Tasmanian blue gum

International Common Names

  • English: blue gum; southern blue gum; Tasmanian blue gumtree
  • Spanish: gomero azul
  • French: gommier bleu de Tasmanie

Local Common Names

  • Brazil: eucalipto
  • Germany: Blaugummi- Eukalyptus
  • Italy: Eucalipto globoso
  • Netherlands: koortsboom, Australische
  • Philippines: Bagras; olive gum eucalyptus
  • Sweden: febertraed

EPPO code

  • EUCGL (Eucalyptus globulus)

Trade name

  • southern blue gum

Summary of Invasiveness

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E. globulus varies from a multi-stemmed shrub on exposed sites, to a medium-sized woodland tree up to 20 m tall, to a very tall forest tree up to 70-80 m tall with a large open crown. Although found mainly in Tasmania, it also occurs in southern Victoria. The wood is strong and moderately durable, and excellent for cellulose and paper manufacture; indeed, plantation-grown trees are mainly used for pulpwood. It is an important plantation species in Australia and has experienced outstanding success as an exotic in many countries, with over 1 million ha of plantations established. The essential oil derived from E. globulus (eucalyptus oil) has dominated the market for cineole-rich oils since the 1850s.

Because of its fast growth, E. globulus can use large quantities of soil water per hectare of plantation compared with slower growing species. It may also present a fire risk when planted near urban areas due to the large amount of leaf, bark and branch material which is dropped over time by mature trees. This litter can restrict the germination of understorey species through the production of allelopathic chemicals, resulting in plantations on drier hillsides becoming a potential erosion risk because of poor development of the understorey and exposed soil surface. 

E. globulus can become a weed through seed escapes from plantations and amenity plantings. This has occurred in California, particularly along the coast around Los Angeles and San Francisco. The seed is not easily dispersed over large distances and any spread is likely to be relatively slow and hence should be easy to contain. Seed generally requires bare soil in order to germinate and the species is therefore not considered to be an aggressive colonizer. Programmes to remove E. globulus from some areas of California, such as Angel Island in San Francisco Bay and the Oakland Hills, have been undertaken or proposed in order to restore native biomes and reduce fire risks.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Myrtales
  •                         Family: Myrtaceae
  •                             Genus: Eucalyptus
  •                                 Species: Eucalyptus globulus

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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E. globulus was one of the earliest species of eucalypts to be both validly named and brought into cultivation and was formally described by the French botanist Labillardière (1799). It is part of the Eucalyptus globulus complex (informal subgenus Symphyomyrtus, series Viminales; Pryor and Johnson, 1971). Three other taxa, namely bicostata, pseudoglobulus and maidenii are considered by some authors to be subspecies of E. globulus (Kirkpatrick, 1975; Chippendale, 1988; Jordan et al., 1993). This is based on the occurrence of geographically separated core populations of the four taxa, which are differentiated primarily on reproductive traits. Brooker and Kleinig (1983) consider the four taxa as separate species. This datasheet for E. globulus excludes the remaining three taxa, which, for the purposes of this report, are considered to be separate species.

The main distinguishing features of E. globulus are its solitary flowers, stalkless or with stalks (pedicels) up to 4 mm long and large warty fruits with pronounced ribs. In contrast, E. maidenii has up to seven fruits per umbel and the smallest capsules; E. bicostata and E. pseudoglobulus are three-fruited; and E. pseudoglobulus has smaller capsules, fewer ribs on the capsule and longer pedicels than E. bicostata. A recent study by Jordan et al. (1993) has shown that some populations on King Island, in Western Tasmania, on the northern end of Flinders Island, and in the Otway Ranges and in parts of Gippsland in the mainland state of Victoria are intermediate between E. bicostata and E. globulus. The Northern Flinders Island and Otway Ranges populations were previously considered to have greater affinity with E. pseudoglobulus.

Description

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The forest tree form can grow as high as 80 m with a tall, straight trunk, its branches retained for less than half the total tree height (Eldridge et al., 1993). Lower bark is rough, greyish or brownish, as a stocking at the base; upper bark smooth pale often with a bluish or yellowish tinge; decorticating into long strips. The woodland form is a medium-sized tree, 15-20 m tall with a compact crown. The single trunk is much branched, the first usually fairly high up. On harsh, exposed sites, such as Flinders and King Islands, E. globulus grows as a multi-stemmed shrub (Boland et al., 1984; Marcar et al., 1995)

Seedling leaves are opposite, sessile, the base clasping the stem (amplexicaul), ovate, 6-12 x 2.5-7 cm, bluish-green, glaucous, strongly discolorous; juvenile opposite, sessile, amplexicaul, elliptic-ovate, 11-15 x 6-11 cm, bluish-green, glaucous, discolorous. The stems of both seedling and juvenile leaves are square in section, flanged and glaucous. Adult leaves are petiolate, falcate, lanceolate or narrow-lanceolate, 12-25 x 1.7-3 cm, green, similar shade of green on upper and lower surfaces (Boland et al., 1984).

The inflorescence is simple, usually single flowered (occasionally 3), and axillary. The stamens are usually white or cream. The pedicel is sometimes absent or very short and stout, up to 4 mm long. Buds are up to 1-2.3 x 1.4-2.8 cm, top-shaped (turbinate) with 4 distinct ribs (sometimes more), extremely glaucous. The bud cap or operculum is flattened, very warty with a very distinct, central knob. The ribbed capsules are sessile, sub-globular to hemispherical with 4 distinct ribs (sometimes more), glaucous on the enlarged receptacle (hypanthium); disc broad with slight lobes; valves 4 or 5, more or less horizontal or slightly exserted. The capsules have a distinct concave, calycine ring (Brooker and Kleinig, 1983; Boland et al., 1984).

Plant Type

Top of page Broadleaved
Perennial
Seed propagated
Tree
Woody

Distribution

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E. globulus has a discontinuous distribution mainly along the east coast of Tasmania, with some populations occurring up to 70 km inland. It is also found on islands in Bass Strait, including Flinders and King, and in the extreme south of Victoria around Cape Otway, the Strzelecki Ranges and on Wilsons Promontory (Boland et al., 1984). The latitudinal range is 38°26'S to 43°30'S (Eldridge et al., 1993).

As an alien invasive, E. globulus is to be found in California along the coastal ranges, from Humboldt County in the north, south down to San Diego County, growing most successfully on the foggy coast surrounding San Francisco Bay. In Hawaii, plantations and hence escapes are mostly located on the islands of Hawaii and Maui (Skolmen and Ledig, 1990).

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 ReportedInvasivePlantedReferenceNotes

Asia

ChinaPresent Planted
-YunnanPresent Planted
IndiaPresent Planted
-Andhra PradeshPresent Planted
-Tamil NaduPresent Planted
-West BengalPresent Planted
PakistanUnconfirmed recordCAB Abstracts
PhilippinesPresent Planted
Sri LankaPresent Planted
TurkeyPresent Planted

Africa

AlgeriaPresent Planted
BurundiPresent Planted
EthiopiaPresent Planted
KenyaPresent Planted
LesothoPresent Planted
MadagascarPresent Planted
MauritiusPresent Planted
MoroccoPresent Planted
RwandaPresent Planted
South AfricaPresent Planted
Spain
-Canary IslandsPresent Planted
UgandaPresent Planted
ZambiaPresent Planted

North America

MexicoPresent Planted
USAPresent
-CaliforniaPresent Planted
-HawaiiUnconfirmed recordCAB Abstracts

Central America and Caribbean

Costa RicaPresent Planted
GuatemalaPresent Planted

South America

ArgentinaPresent Planted
BoliviaPresent Planted
BrazilPresent Planted
-Sao PauloPresent Planted
ChilePresent Planted
ColombiaPresent Planted
EcuadorPresent Planted
ParaguayPresent Planted
PeruPresent Planted
UruguayPresent Planted
VenezuelaPresent Planted

Europe

FranceUnconfirmed recordCAB Abstracts
GreecePresent Planted
ItalyPresent Planted
PortugalPresent Planted
Russian FederationPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Russia (Europe)Present Planted
SpainPresent Planted

Oceania

AustraliaPresent Natural
-New South WalesPresent Planted
-South AustraliaPresent Planted
-TasmaniaPresentPlanted, Natural
-VictoriaPresentPlanted, Natural
-Western AustraliaPresent Planted
New ZealandPresent Planted

History of Introduction and Spread

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Introductions of E. globulus to India (in the late 18th century), Africa (including Madagascar), Central and South America, China, the Philippines, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, New Zealand and the USA (California in 1856, Hawaii in 1865, and Florida) were among the earliest introductions of any Australian tree outside its native range. The morphological characters of trees in plantations in Europe have an affinity with those in the natural stands of south-eastern Tasmania, suggesting that they originated from seed collected in that area (Orme et al., 1978).

Current plantations of E. globulus are found in areas with a mild climate, free of severe frosts. More than 800,000 ha are planted in Portugal and Spain, with smaller but significant areas in Bolivia, Chile, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Peru, California and elsewhere (Eldridge et al., 1993). It has become naturalized in various countries, including in the USA in California and Hawaii.

Risk of Introduction

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The risk of seed escapes from plantations and amenity plantings is high, particularly in view of the fact that there are about 16,000 ha of plantations in California and 5000 ha in Hawaii (Skolmen and Ledig, 1990), the two states in the USA where E. globulus is classed as an invasive weed.

Habitat

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E. globulus grows especially well in regions with a Mediterranean climate characterized by cool, wet winters and dry, warm summers, such as portions of California, Chile, Portugal, Spain and South Africa. In California it prefers disturbed areas and hillsides, and is most frequent near coasts below 300 m.

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
 
Terrestrial – ManagedManaged forests, plantations and orchards Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
Disturbed areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Productive/non-natural
Littoral
Coastal areas Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coastal areas Principal habitat Natural
Coastal areas Principal habitat Productive/non-natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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Biological diversity is lost in E. globulus stands due to displacement of native plant communities and corresponding wildlife habitat. Abundance and diversity of understorey vegetation is dependent on stand density. Understorey establishment is inhibited by the production of allelopathic chemicals and by the physical barrier formed by high volumes of forest debris consisting of leaves, bark strips, limbs and branches (California Invasive Plant Council, 2015b). Most of the dense E. globulus stands in California and Hawaii are noted for being almost devoid of understorey vegetation, except for a few hardy grasses. In Hawaii, E. globulus stands are known to host the invasive Myrica faya [Morella faya] and Passiflora mollissima [Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima] (Skolmen and Ledig, 1990), while in California they are displacing the endangered Gambel’s watercress (Rorippa gambelii [Nasturtium gambelii]) and marsh sandwort (Arenaria paludicola) (US Fish and Wildlife Service, 1998).

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number of E. globulus is 2n = 22.

Reproductive Biology

The flowers are predominantly insect-pollinated, although birds and small mammals may also assist in pollination. Reproduction is by seed, but resprouting also occurs, with sprouts emerging from the main trunk, from stumps of all sizes and ages, from the lignotuber and from roots (California Invasive Plant Council, 2015b).

Physiology and Phenology

In natural stands in Australia the flowering period is normally spring and early summer during September-December (Brooker and Kleinig, 1983; Boland et al., 1984), while in California E. globulus  flowers in the wet season, from November to April. In Hawaii some trees flower throughout the year, but flowering is mainly concentrated in February-March. Capsules ripen from October to March in California, while in Hawaii they ripen throughout the year (Skolmen and Ledig,1990). Mature capsules are present during autumn and winter in Australia, and may persist for more than a year.

Associations

E. globulus occurs in woodland, open forest or tall, open forest vegetation types. Associated eucalypts include E. viminalis, E. ovata, E. obliqua, E. amygdalina, E. nitida [E. ambigua], E. pulchella, E. delegatensis and E. regnans (Boland et al., 1984).

Most of the dense E. globulus stands in California and Hawaii are noted for being almost devoid of understorey vegetation, except for a few hardy grasses. Although this relates to the rather dry climate that provides the best sites for the species, it has also been shown that the leaves of the tree produce water soluble phytotoxins that can prevent radicle growth of many herbaceous plants (Del Moral and Muller, 1969). In Hawaii, the invasive firetree, Myrica faya, is a species that sometimes invades E. globulus stands, while the noxious passion fruit vine Passiflora mollissima has also been found thriving in a young coppice stand (Skolmen and Ledig, 1990).

Environmental Requirements

E. globulus occurs in the warm to cool, humid to sub-humid zones of Australia. The climatic indicators for the Australian distribution are: mean maximum temperature of the hottest month 20-23°C; mean minimum temperature of the coldest month 0-8°C; mean annual rainfall 600-1400 mm (Marcar et al., 1995). Frosts occur at most localities, even close to the coast, 5-40 or more each year. Absolute minimum temperatures do not fall below -8°C in the natural range. The climatic range derived from successful performance at plantation sites around the world, including Australia (Booth and Pryor, 1991; Yan et al., 1996), is slightly broader than that given for natural stands.

The species is most common on soils derived from granite (Weiss, 1997) and granodiorite parent materials (Hillis and Brown, 1984). Extensive stands are also found on plutonic rocks, sandstones, dolerite and on shallow humus soils over mudstone (Boland et al., 1984; Marcar et al., 1995), but not on strongly calcareous or alkaline soils. E. globulus also grows on coastal, gently undulating land, often on poor sands. Its best development occurs in moist valleys on fertile loamy or clay soils (Boland et al., 1984).

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
-38 -44 0 2400

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) -8
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 9 21
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 19 31
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 0 15

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration07number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall5001500mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Bimodal
Summer
Uniform
Winter

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • infertile
  • saline

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Acanthococcus coriaceus Herbivore Stems to genus Young, 2002
Anoplognathus Herbivore Leaves not specific Marcar et al., 1995
Ctenarytaina eucalypti Herbivore Leaves/Stems to genus Young, 2002
Fusarium Pathogen Seeds not specific Jacobs, 1981
Mnesampela privata Herbivore Leaves not specific Marcar et al., 1995
Penicillium Pathogen Seeds not specific Jacobs, 1981
Phoracantha semipunctata Herbivore Stems not specific Young, 2002
Phylacteophaga froggatti Herbivore Leaves not specific Marcar et al., 1995

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Injury to leaves and twigs by the native insect herbivore the eucalyptus psyllid (Ctenarytaina eucalypti) has been shown to decrease the growth rate of E. globulus and other eucalyptus species. The wood borer Phoracantha semipunctata and the scale insect Eriococcus coriaceus (also known as Acanthococcus coriaceus) cause severe damage which can lead to mortality (Young, 2002). In Australia, juvenile foliage of Victorian and Tasmanian mainland provenances is very susceptible to attack by not only C. eucalypti, but also autumn gum moth (Mnesampela privata), Christmas beetle (Anoplognathus spp.), leafblister sawfly (Phylacteophaga froggatti), Chrysomelid leaf beetles and various scale insects (Marcar et al., 1995). 

There are several fungi that attack E. globulus, but none has a very large effect except on stored seeds (Young, 2002). In Spain, Penicillium and Fusarium spp. are important seed diseases, with the latter highly destructive to stored seed (Jacobs, 1981).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal

Seed is dispersed by wind within 1-2 months of capsule opening. A dispersal distance of 20 m was observed in a 40 m tall tree when winds were 10 km/h (California Invasive Plant Council, 2015b).

Intentional Introduction

E. globulus has been introduced for economic (forestry) and ornamental purposes in suitable climatic zones.

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Escape from confinement or garden escape Yes
Forestry Yes Yes
Hedges and windbreaks Yes Yes
Horticulturegrown as an ornamental foliage crop Yes
Ornamental purposes Yes Yes

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Wind Yes

Economic Impact

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The economic cost of the firestorm of October 1991 in the Oakland Hills was estimated at over US$1.5 billion (Parker, 1992), the intensity of the fire and the damage caused made all the worse, it was argued, by the presence of extensive E. globulus stands. A federal grant of US$4 million was made available to clear young eucalyptus trees from the area (Murray, 2015). High costs are also associated with the restoration of endangered species’ habitats that have been invaded by E. globulus; for example, over US$10 million for the habitat of the Californian red-legged frog (US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2002).

Environmental Impact

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Impact on Habitats

E. globulus is classed as moderately invasive in California, where it invades riparian areas, coastal grasslands and scrub (California Invasive Plant Council, 2006). It creates monocultures and spreads rapidly in surrounding areas, thus altering ecosystems. It also alters fire regimes (E. globulus stands can accumulate significantly higher fuel loads than native woodlands) and negatively affects groundwater availability due to high water consumption (California Invasive Plant Council, 2015a).

Impact on Biodiversity

E. globulus stands, particularly high density ones, displace native plant communities. Reports of plant diversity within stands vary, reflecting the range of conditions, including original planting density, suitability of the microclimate for eucalyptus growth and regeneration, composition of native seed bank, size of the stand and diversity of the surrounding vegetation. Some studies report depauperate plant communities limited by shading and a thick litter layer, while other studies report some native plant species being supported in the understorey (California Invasive Plant Council, 2015a).

E. globulus alters habitat for birds. Many of the breeding bird species that are most representative of oak and riparian habitats make little or no use of eucalyptus. Decay-resistant wood offers limited nesting opportunities for woodpeckers, but stands do provide nesting sites for larger bird species such as herons and raptors (Suddjian, 2004).

The habitat of the California red-legged frog (Rana aurora draytonii [Rana draytonii]), federally listed as threatened, is being invaded by non-native species. The frog is reported as avoiding creeks and stream pools dominated by eucalyptus, whose aromatic leaves may be secreting toxic chemicals into the water. However, some biologists have reported high numbers of frogs in areas where poor water quality is due to a dominance of eucalyptus. The relationship of E. globulus and habitat suitability for the frog is identified as a research priority for any habitat restoration efforts. The cost of recovering red-legged frog populations and habitats is estimated at over US$10 million (US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2002).

Recovery efforts that protect habitat areas for the Californian red-legged frog will also benefit the endangered Gambel’s watercress (Nasturtium gambelii), a member of the mustard family found in freshwater or brackish marsh habitats at the margins of lakes or along slow-flowing streams. This species faces threats from alteration of hydrology, competition with encroaching E. globulus trees, urban development, and stochastic extinction due to the small number of individuals and populations that remain. Mitigation of altered hydrology and elimination of eucalyptus where it is deemed a threat to water quality and riparian habitat quality will restore the habitat for both the frog and the plant species (US Fish and Wildlife Service, 1998).

Another federally listed endangered plant species in California, Arenaria paludicola, is found in only two populations, one of fewer than 10 individuals in Black Lake Canyon near the R. gambelii population, and the other of more than 85 individuals at Oso Flaco Lake, San Luis Obispo County. E. globulus trees planted in and around Black Lake Canyon in the late 1800s form a dense canopy around the edges of the marshes, and some are invading the lower margins of the canyon. Shady or filtered light conditions in the canyon bottom may be inhibiting the growth of A. paludicola and R. gambelii. Both endangered species therefore have to compete with exotic species for light, water, nutrients and space. Water uptake and transpiration by E. globulus trees are also causing hydrological changes in the marshes inhabited by these endangered species (US Fish and Wildlife Service, 1998).

The recovery plan for these two plant species, which is estimated to cost over US$480,000 over 10 years, calls for removal of eucalyptus trees, although research into the effects of removing all trees on erosion and sedimentation into wetland habitats is needed. Eradication of eucalyptus trees would require long-term control and eradication of any resprouting (US Fish and Wildlife Service, 1998).

In Ethiopia the gelada baboon, Theropithecus gelada, an IUCN Red List species (least concern), is under threat from habitat loss, mainly from expansion of agriculture but also from deforestation and replanting with quick-growing E. globulus trees, which do not retain soil as well as native species, inhibit grass growth and increase topsoil loss (Gron, 2008).

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Arenaria paludicolaUSA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesCaliforniaCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - shadingUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 1998
Nasturtium gambelii (Gambel's watercress)NatureServe NatureServe; USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesCaliforniaCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - shadingUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 1998
Rana draytonii (California Red-legged Frog)VU (IUCN red list: Vulnerable) VU (IUCN red list: Vulnerable); USA ESA listing as threatened species USA ESA listing as threatened speciesCaliforniaAllelopathic; FoulingUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2002
Theropithecus gelada (gelada baboon)LC (IUCN red list: Least concern) LC (IUCN red list: Least concern); USA ESA listing as threatened species USA ESA listing as threatened speciesEthiopiaCompetitionGron, 2008

Social Impact

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E. globulus in California represents an increased fire risk to communities when planted near urban areas due to the large amount of leaf, bark and branch material which is dropped by mature trees and accumulates in the understorey.

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Fast growing
Impact outcomes
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Increases vulnerability to invasions
  • Modification of fire regime
  • Modification of hydrology
  • Monoculture formation
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Allelopathic
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Competition
  • Fouling
  • Interaction with other invasive species
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

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Economic Value

Due to rotations of only 5-10 years, E. globulus is a favoured forestry species for the production of timber, wood pulp and fuelwood. The wood is used for light and heavy construction, poles, piles and railway sleepers (Boland et al., 1984). It is a good firewood, and carbonizes easily for good charcoal production and is still used for this purpose in many countries. Other important wood products include fibreboard, particle board, parquetry flooring, cooperage, low grade veneer and furniture (Jacobs, 1981).

Mature timber produces poor pulp, but young plantation-grown wood is less dense, making it suitable for paper and rayon pulps. It is a major component of the large paper making industries in Spain, Portugal, Uruguay and Chile, as well as Australia.

Social Benefit

E. globulus is planted as a hedge or screen, and is grown for its ornamental value in gardens and parks. Essential oils derived from its leaves and shoots have antiseptic and antibacterial properties, and are used medicinally, in perfumery and as insect repellents (Weiss, 1997). E. globulus has been planted in numerous developing countries such as Ethiopia as small community woodlots for use by locals as construction timber, fuelwood, shade and for sale at local markets (Kahurananga et al.,1993).

Environmental Services

Flowers of E. globulus are a rich source of nectar for bees and hummingbirds (Rejmanek and Richardson, 2011). Being fast growing, trees are planted for rapid reforestation, to control soil erosion and as windbreaks.

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Agroforestry
  • Erosion control or dune stabilization
  • Revegetation
  • Shade and shelter
  • Windbreak

Fuels

  • Charcoal
  • Fuelwood

General

  • Ornamental

Human food and beverage

  • Honey/honey flora
  • Spices and culinary herbs

Materials

  • Carved material
  • Essential oils
  • Fibre
  • Gum/resin
  • Miscellaneous materials
  • Pesticide
  • Wood/timber

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical
  • Traditional/folklore

Wood Products

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Charcoal

Containers

  • Cooperage

Furniture

Pulp

  • Short-fibre pulp

Railway sleepers

Roundwood

  • Building poles
  • Piles
  • Pit props
  • Posts
  • Transmission poles

Sawn or hewn building timbers

  • Exterior fittings
  • Fences
  • Flooring
  • For light construction

Veneers

Wood-based materials

  • Fibreboard
  • Medium density fibreboard
  • Particleboard
  • Plywood

Woodware

  • Industrial and domestic woodware
  • Tool handles

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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River red gum (E. camaldulensis) is a similar species to E. globulus and the other common eucalyptus species in California, but can be distinguished by small, bowl-shaped capsules 5-10 mm long, and 7-11 flowers in axillary umbels (Spellenberg et al., 2014).

Prevention and Control

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Eradication

In the Oakland Hills area above San Francisco Bay, a deadly firestorm in October 1991 that killed 25 people was in part blamed on the presence of E. globulus stands. In 2015, a US$4 million federal grant was offered to remove young eucalyptus trees to mitigate further firestorms in the region. Controversially, the Sierra Club and other environmental organizations have suggested that all of the estimated half million eucalyptus trees in the region be felled and replaced by native plant species, as fires in native vegetation are less intense with smaller flames (Murray, 2015).

Physical/Mechanical Control

Logging, with subsequent stump removal or herbicidal control of resprouting, are effective control techniques.

Biological Control

Because E. globulus is valued as an ornamental tree in many settings and as an important forestry tree, biological control cannot be considered as a control option.

Chemical Control

Making grooves in the tree base and flooding them with an aqueous solution of glyphosate has proved an effective control method for E. globulus, killing the tree permanently (Young, 2002). Control of sprouting from stumps can be achieved by applying triclopyr or glyphosate directly to the outer portion of the stump’s cut surface at the time of tree felling (California Invasive Plant Council, 2015b). 

Ecosystem Restoration

Between 1990 and 1997, a controversial native ecosystem restoration programme undertaken by the California State Parks removed 80 acres of E. globulus from Angel Island, a state park in San Francisco Bay, where 24 acres had been planted by the military since the late 19th century. These original plantings had expanded through invasion of native plant communities to cover 86 acres by the mid 1980s. Logging, the removal and burning of slash, and treatment of stumps with herbicide were the methods used. The timber obtained was sold commercially to recoup some of the costs of removal (Boyd, 1998).

References

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Brooker MIH; Kleinig DA, 1983. Field guide to eucalypts. Volume 1. South-eastern Australia. vii + 288 pp. Sydney, Australia: Inkata Press.

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California Invasive Plant Council, 2015. Invasive plants of California's wildland: Eucalyptus globulus. http://www.cal-ipc.org/ip/management/ipcw/pages/detailreport.cfm@usernumber=48&surveynumber=182.php

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Gardiner CA; Crawford DF, 1987. 1987 seed collections of Eucalyptus globulus subsp. globulus Labill. for tree improvement purposes. Australian Tree Seed Centre, CSIRO Division of Forestry, Canberra, Australia. Unpublished internal report.

Gardiner CA; Crawford DF, 1988. 1988 seed collections of Eucalyptus globulus subsp. globulus Labill. for tree improvement purposes. Australian Tree Seed Centre, CSIRO Division of Forestry, Canberra, Australia. Unpublished internal report.

Griffin AR; Whiteman P; Rudge T; Burgess IP; Moncur M, 1993. Effect of paclobutrazol on flower-bud production and vegetative growth in two species of Eucalyptus. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 23(4):640-647; 23 ref.

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Hanks LM; Paine TD; Millar JG; Hom JL, 1995. Variation among Eucalyptus species in resistance to eucalyptus longhorned borer in Southern California. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 74(2):185-194

Hardel DK; Laxmidhar Sahoo, 2011. A review on phytochemical and pharmacological of Eucalyptus globulus: a multipurpose tree. International Journal of Research in Ayurveda and Pharmacy (IJRAP), 2(5):1527-1530. http://www.ijrap.net/admin/php/uploads/648_pdf.pdf

Hasan O; Reid JB, 1995. Reduction of generation time in Eucalyptus globulus. Plant Growth Regulation, 17(1):53-60; 20 ref.

Hillis WE; Brown AG, 1984. Eucalypts for wood production. Melbourne, Australia: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.

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Judd TS; Bennett LT; Weston CJ; Attiwill PM; Whiteman PH, 1996. The response of growth and foliar nutrients to fertilizers in young Eucalyptus globulus (Labill.) plantations in Gippsland, southeastern Australia. Forest Ecology and Management, 82(1/3):87-101; 41 ref.

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Kirkpatrick JB, 1975. Geographical variation in Eucalyptus globulus. Bulletin 47, Canberra, Australia: Forestry and Timber Bureau.

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MacRae S; Cotterill PP, 1997. Macropropagation and Micropropagation of Eucalyptus globulus: Means of capturing genetic gain. Proceedings IUFRO Conference on Silviculture and Improvement of Eucalypts, 24-29 August, 1997. Salvador, Brazil, Vol. 2, 102-110.

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Nishimuru H; Calvin M, 1979. Essential oil of E. globulus in California. J. Agric. Food Chem., 27:432-435.

Ong SH, 1988. Notes on some properties of Eucalyptus globulus. FRC Publication, No. 44. Sandakan, Sabah: Forest Research Centre, i + 7 pp.

Orme RK, 1983. Progress with E. globulus provenance research. Silvicultura, S¦o Paulo, 31:483-488.

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Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Global register of Introduced and Invasive species (GRIIS)http://griis.org/Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.

Contributors

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29/06/15 Invasive Species Compendium sections added by:

Andrew Praciak, CABI, UK

Distribution Maps

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