Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Acacia mangium
(brown salwood)

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Datasheet

Acacia mangium (brown salwood)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 29 November 2021
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Acacia mangium
  • Preferred Common Name
  • brown salwood
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Acacia mangium is perhaps the most widely planted and commercially available of tropical acacia trees. Because the species is also known to be a threat to indigenous flora in various Pacific Islands, invasive in the Dominican Republic and...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Acacia mangium (brown salwood); Habit. Papua New Guinea.
TitleMature tree
CaptionAcacia mangium (brown salwood); Habit. Papua New Guinea.
CopyrightMaurice McDonald/CSIRO Forestry & Forest Products
Acacia mangium (brown salwood); Habit. Papua New Guinea.
Mature treeAcacia mangium (brown salwood); Habit. Papua New Guinea.Maurice McDonald/CSIRO Forestry & Forest Products
Acacia mangium (brown salwood); Plantation. Kalimantan, Indonesia.
TitlePlantation
CaptionAcacia mangium (brown salwood); Plantation. Kalimantan, Indonesia.
CopyrightStephen Midgley/CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products
Acacia mangium (brown salwood); Plantation. Kalimantan, Indonesia.
PlantationAcacia mangium (brown salwood); Plantation. Kalimantan, Indonesia.Stephen Midgley/CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products
Acacia mangium (brown salwood); Young tree. Mission Beach, Queensland, Australia.
TitleYoung tree
CaptionAcacia mangium (brown salwood); Young tree. Mission Beach, Queensland, Australia.
CopyrightMaurice McDonald/CSIRO Forestry & Forest Products
Acacia mangium (brown salwood); Young tree. Mission Beach, Queensland, Australia.
Young treeAcacia mangium (brown salwood); Young tree. Mission Beach, Queensland, Australia.Maurice McDonald/CSIRO Forestry & Forest Products
Acacia mangium (brown salwood); Trunk.
TitleTrunk
CaptionAcacia mangium (brown salwood); Trunk.
CopyrightMaurice McDonald/CSIRO Forestry & Forest Products
Acacia mangium (brown salwood); Trunk.
TrunkAcacia mangium (brown salwood); Trunk.Maurice McDonald/CSIRO Forestry & Forest Products
Acacia mangium (brown salwood); Inflorescence.
TitleInflorescence
CaptionAcacia mangium (brown salwood); Inflorescence.
CopyrightMaurice McDonald/CSIRO Forestry & Forest Products
Acacia mangium (brown salwood); Inflorescence.
InflorescenceAcacia mangium (brown salwood); Inflorescence.Maurice McDonald/CSIRO Forestry & Forest Products
Acacia mangium (brown salwood); Fruiting twig.
TitleFruit
CaptionAcacia mangium (brown salwood); Fruiting twig.
CopyrightMaurice McDonald/CSIRO Forestry & Forest Products
Acacia mangium (brown salwood); Fruiting twig.
FruitAcacia mangium (brown salwood); Fruiting twig.Maurice McDonald/CSIRO Forestry & Forest Products
Acacia mangium (brown salwood); Seed and fruit.
TitleSeed and fruit
CaptionAcacia mangium (brown salwood); Seed and fruit.
CopyrightMaurice McDonald/CSIRO Forestry & Forest Products
Acacia mangium (brown salwood); Seed and fruit.
Seed and fruitAcacia mangium (brown salwood); Seed and fruit.Maurice McDonald/CSIRO Forestry & Forest Products
1. Young tree
2. Flowering twig
3. Seedpods
TitleLine artwork
Caption1. Young tree 2. Flowering twig 3. Seedpods
Copyright©PROSEA Foundation
1. Young tree
2. Flowering twig
3. Seedpods
Line artwork1. Young tree 2. Flowering twig 3. Seedpods©PROSEA Foundation

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Acacia mangium Willd.

Preferred Common Name

  • brown salwood

Other Scientific Names

  • Racosperma mangium (Willd.) Pedley

International Common Names

  • English: black wattle; broadleaf salwood; hickory wattle; mangium; Sabah salwood; sally wattle
  • Spanish: zamorano
  • Chinese: ma zhan xiang si

Local Common Names

  • Dominican Republic: mangio; mangium
  • Indonesia: laj; mangga hutan; mangge hutan; tange hutan; tongke hutan
  • Indonesia/Irian Jaya: jerri
  • Indonesia/Moluccas: nak
  • Papua New Guinea: arr; biar
  • Philippines: maber
  • Sweden: hickory-akacia
  • Thailand: kra thin tepa; krathin thepha

EPPO code

  • ACAMG (Acacia mangium)

Trade name

  • brown salwood

Summary of Invasiveness

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Acacia mangium is perhaps the most widely planted and commercially available of tropical acacia trees. Because the species is also known to be a threat to indigenous flora in various Pacific Islands, invasive in the Dominican Republic and a potential invader and transformer species in Cuba, its invasive traits warrant further research and caution when cultivating. These traits include its extremely vigorous growth (wood volumes can grow at over 30 m3/ha/year), tolerance of acidic and nutrient-depleted soils and its ability to compete with other vegetation. The species is listed in the Global Compendium of Weeds as ‘environmental weed, naturalized weed’ and received a high PIER risk score of 8, where any score over 6 should be rejected for import. Risk of introduction for this species is therefore high.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Fabales
  •                         Family: Fabaceae
  •                             Subfamily: Mimosoideae
  •                                 Genus: Acacia
  •                                     Species: Acacia mangium

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Acacia (family Fabaceae, subfamily Mimosoideae) represents a cosmopolitan genus of 1030 species previously contained in three subgenera: subgenus Acacia, subgenus Aculeiferum and subgenus Phyllodinae (Maslin, 1995). In the newly IBC adopted circumscription of Acacia, the type of Acacia changes from the African/Asian species, A. scorpioides (=A. nilotica), to the Australian species, A. penninervis. The nomenclatural consequences at the infrageneric level that flow from this are: (1) the name subgenus Acacia now applies to the ‘Australian group’ formerly known as Acacia subgenus Phyllodineae (Maslin, 2008) and (2) species in Africa and the Americas previously referred as Acacia are now treated under Senegalia [Acacia], Vachellia, Acaciella and Mariosousa. For further information: see Jawad et al. (2000), Maslin et al. (2003), Orchard and Maslin (2003), Seigler and Ebinger (2005), Kodela and Wilson (2006), Seigler et al. (2006).

The species A.mangium is in the subgenus Acacia, the ‘Australian group’ formerly known as subgenus Phyllodinae. Within this subgenus the species are grouped into seven sections, with A.mangium assigned to section Juliflorae (235 species), a group characterized by having flowers in elongated spikes and phyllodes with numerous, often anastomosing, longitudinal nerves. Pedley (1986) proposed a classification in which Acacia was formally subdivided into three genera, namely Acacia, Senegalia and Racosperma. Most botanists concerned with this group did not adopt Pedley's 1986 classification; however, there are citations for Racospermamangium [A. mangium] (Khasa et al., 1995).

Acacia mangium was originally described by the German botanist Georgius Everhardus Rumphius as Mangium montanum Rumph. in Herbarium Amboinense 3:123, t.81 (1750), based on his studies on the Indonesian island of Ambon. The species name mangium is an allusion to Rumphius' observation that the tree resembled 'mangge' or mangroves in Indonesia. In 1806, the species was moved to the genus Acacia by C.L. Willdenow in Sp. Plant 4: 1053 (1806).

Acacia mangium may be confused with A. holosericea and A. neurocarpa but can be most readily distinguished by its arborescent habit, glabrous phyllodes and branchlets, white to cream flower spikes and seed with an orange aril (Maslin and McDonald, 1996). A. holosericea and A. neurocarpa occur naturally as shrubs or small trees on drier sites.

Description

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General

A. mangium is a large tree, to 30 m tall, with a straight bole, which may be over half the total tree height. Trees with a diameter over 50 cm are rare. It may be reduced to a small tree or large shrub of 7-10 m on adverse sites. The bark surface is rough, furrowed longitudinally, and varies in colour from pale grey-brown to brown. The lower bole is sometimes fluted.
A detailed botanical description is provided by Pedley (1975).

Foliage

Borne on very acutely angled, glabrous and stout branchlets, the mature phyllodes of A. mangium are very large, normally 11-27 cm long and 3-10 cm broad. They are dark green, glabrous on a glabrous pulvinus 0.6-1 cm long. The phyllodes are characterized by four (rarely three or five) main longitudinal nerves, basally confluent but distinct from lower margin, minor nerves strongly anastomosing to form a prominent reticulum (Maslin and McDonald, 1996).

Inflorescences, flowers and fruits

The whitish (or cream) flowers are in rather loose spikes 5-12 cm long on peduncles 0.6-1 cm long, singly or in pairs in the upper axils. The seed pods are linear, tightly coiled when ripe, sometimes tightly spirally coiled, slightly woody, 7-8 cm long and 0.3-0.5 cm wide. The seeds are black and shiny, longitudinal, ovate to oblong 3-5 x 2-3 mm with a yellow or bright orange (rarely red) funicle folded to form an oily, fleshy aril beneath the seed.

Phenology

A. mangium is a fast-growing, evergreen species. It is able to grow throughout the year if conditions are suitable. In Thailand, it has been observed that growth appears to slow down or cease in response to the combination of low rainfall and cool temperatures in January-February. Trees start to grow actively again in April before the start of the wet season (Atipanumpai, 1989).

Flowering phenology differs throughout its natural and planted range. In its natural habitat, flowers are present during February to May in Australia and the seed matures in October-December (Sedgley et al., 1992). Farther north the fruits mature earlier with seed available from July in Indonesia, and late September in Papua New Guinea (Skelton, 1987; Turnbull et al., 1983).

As an exotic, the normal flowering cycle may be disrupted and flowering can occur throughout the year; however, a distinct peak is usually discernible (Awang and Taylor, 1993). The peak is reported to be June-July in Peninsular Malaysia (Zakaria and Awang, 1991), January in Sabah (Sedgley et al., 1992), October-November in Taiwan (Kiang et al., 1989) and September in Thailand (Kijkar, 1992). Mature fruits occur 3-4 months after flowering.

Plant Type

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Perennial
Seed / spore propagated
Shrub
Tree
Woody

Distribution

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Acacia mangium is native to the humid tropical forests of northeastern Australia, particularly the coastal tropical lowlands of northern Queensland, Papua New Guinea and into Irian Jaya and the Maluku Islands of Indonesia (Doran and Turnbull, 1997; Krisnawati et al., 2011). It has spread across tropical southeast Asia and has become the most widely planted and commercially important of the tropical acacias (Doran and Turnbull, 1997; Orchard and Wilson, 2001; Arisman and Hardiyanto, 2006). In Brazil, plantations of Acacia spp. rank third among all cultivated forest species, with the species A. mangium being the most widely planted within the state of Roraima (Parreira et al., 2014). A. mangium is also cultivated in the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico where it is now naturalized (Kairo et al., 2003; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012). It has become invasive in the Dominican Republic (Kairo et al., 2003) and a potential invader and transformer species in Cuba (Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012). The species was not included in Wagner and Lorence (2016)’s work on the Marquesas Islands, although the species is known to be grown in other parts of French Polynesia (PIER, 2016).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 17 Dec 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Planted Reference Notes

Africa

BeninPresentPlanted
ComorosPresentIntroducedInvasive
Congo, Democratic Republic of thePresentPlanted
Congo, Republic of thePresentPlanted
Côte d'IvoirePresentPlanted
KenyaPresentPlanted
MadagascarPresentPlanted
MayottePresentIntroducedInvasive
RéunionPresentIntroduced1994
Sierra LeonePresentCommercially cultivated
South AfricaPresentIntroduced
TanzaniaPresentIntroducedInvasive
ZimbabwePresentPlanted

Asia

BangladeshPresentIntroducedInvasiveCommercially cultivated. Introduced after mid-1960s
BhutanPresentIntroduced2006
ChinaPresentIntroducedIntroduced after mid-1960s
-GuangdongPresentPlanted
-GuangxiPresentPlanted
-HainanPresentPlanted
IndiaPresentIntroducedIntroduced after mid-1960s
-KarnatakaPresentPlanted
-KeralaPresentPlanted
-MaharashtraPresentPlanted
-OdishaPresentPlanted
-Tamil NaduPresentPlanted
-Uttar PradeshPresentPlanted
-West BengalPresent
IndonesiaPresentNative and IntroducedFirst introduced into regions other than New Guinea and the Maluku Islands in the late 1970s as a species for reforestation
-Irian JayaPresentNative
-Maluku IslandsPresentNative
-SumatraPresentPlanted
LaosPresentCommercially cultivated
MalaysiaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresentPlanted
-SabahPresentIntroduced1966Invasive
-SarawakPresentPlanted
PhilippinesPresentIntroducedPlanted in Lamao, also formerly grown in Manila
SingaporePresentIntroducedInvasive
Sri LankaPresentIntroduced
TaiwanPresentPlanted
ThailandPresentIntroduced
VietnamPresentIntroducedCultivated

North America

Costa RicaPresentIntroduced
CubaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedPotential invader
Dominican RepublicPresentIntroducedInvasiveNaturalized and invasive
El SalvadorPresentIntroduced
HaitiPresentIntroducedExotic
HondurasPresentIntroduced
MexicoPresentIntroducedNaturalizedCultivated
NicaraguaPresentIntroduced
PanamaPresentCommercially cultivated
Puerto RicoPresentIntroducedNaturalized
United StatesPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-HawaiiPresentIntroducedInvasive

Oceania

American SamoaPresentIntroducedInvasive
AustraliaPresentNative and IntroducedNative to northeastern Australia
-Northern TerritoryPresentIntroducedInvasiveReported to be invasive on Melville Island (Grant Flanagan, pers. com.)
-QueenslandPresentNativeVery limited distribution in the coastal tropical lowlands
-Western AustraliaPresentIntroducedInvasive
Cook IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasiveInvasive in Atiu, Mangaia, Mauke, Rarotonga
Federated States of MicronesiaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-ChuukPresentIntroducedInvasive
-PohnpeiPresentIntroducedInvasive
-YapPresentIntroduced
FijiPresentPlanted
French PolynesiaPresentIntroducedIntroduced, cultivated
GuamPresentIntroduced
New CaledoniaPresentIntroducedIntroduced, cultivated
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasive
PalauPresentIntroducedInvasive
Papua New GuineaPresentNative and IntroducedNative but also introduced after mid-1960s

South America

BrazilPresentIntroducedInvasivePlanted
-AmapaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-AmazonasPresentIntroduced
-BahiaPresentIntroduced
-Espirito SantoPresentIntroduced
-MaranhaoPresentIntroducedInvasive
-PernambucoPresentIntroduced
-PiauiPresentIntroduced
-Rio de JaneiroPresentIntroduced
-Rio Grande do SulPresentIntroduced
-RoraimaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-Santa CatarinaPresentIntroduced
ColombiaPresentIntroducedC?ceres, Medell?n, Rionegro
French GuianaPresentIntroducedInvasive
VenezuelaPresent

History of Introduction and Spread

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Acacia mangium is native to Australia and parts of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, but has become a major commercial wood source across Southeast Asia and Brazil (Doran and Turnbull, 1997; Orchard and Wilson, 2001; Krisnawati et al., 2011; Aguiar et al., 2014; FAO, 2016). Although it had already been in cultivation in the Philippines by 1923 (Merrill, 1923), the species was reportedly first introduced beyond its native range as a plantation species to Sabah, Malaysia in 1966; after its success there, the species was then planted across Southeast Asia and to parts of the Americas (Pinyopusarerk et al., 1993; Arisman and Hardiyanto, 2006; Krisnawati et al., 2011).

Various reports have listed A. mangium as now weedy or invasive to Hawaii, the Dominican Republic and Guam. Six of the seven specimens held at the US National Herbarium, all collected in Guam, Hawaii, the Dominican Republic, Western Samoa and Atiu (Cook Islands), were taken from plants in cultivation. Similarly, most of the 21 specimens listed in Missouri Botanical Garden (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2016) from the Caribbean and Central America were collected in the 1990s and 2000s, with none prior to 1989. Although it was reported to be invasive in French Guiana by Aguiar et al (2014), the species was not listed in Funk et al (2007)’s flora on the Guiana Shield. This suggests that the species, a relatively recent introduction, may not yet be as high of an invasive concern in the Americas (excepting Brazil) as it is in Southeast Asia, where it has been established as a plantation species since the 1960s, but more research is needed.

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Sabah Australia 1966 Forestry (pathway cause) Yes No Arisman and Hardiyanto (2006)

Risk of Introduction

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Based on the current evidence, risk of introduction for A. mangium is high. The species received a high PIER risk score of 8, where any plant with a score over 6 is recommended to be rejected from import and is likely to be invasive (PIER, 2016). A. mangium grows rapidly, achieving up to 23 m in 9 years (FAO, 2016) and has a short generative time of 1 year (PIER, 2016). The species benefits from fire and disturbances and is a pioneering species (FAO, 2016; PIER, 2016). It has a history of intentional, repeated introductions beyond its native range, which is likely to continue as it is a commercially important species in Southeast Asia (Doran and Turnbull, 1997; Orchard and Wilson, 2001; Krisnawati et al., 2011; FAO, 2016). It is known to be an environmental and congeneric weed (Randall, 2012; PIER, 2016) and can tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions and soil types, including nutrient depleted soil (Doran and Turnbull, 1997; Krisnawati et al., 2011). Considering these invasive traits and the fact that other members of the Acacia genus are vigorous invaders with the ability to transform and replace native ecosystems, risk of introduction for A. mangium is high and further research is needed.

Habitat

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Acacia mangium thrives in coastal tropical lowland forests, as in its native Australian habitat (Doran and Turnbull, 1997; Orchard and Wilson, 2001). It occurs naturally at the edges of mangrove stands, in the transition area between lowland primary forests and rivers and grasslands and in areas recently disturbed, especially by fire (FAO, 2016); Doran and Turnbull (1997) report it ‘may be regarded as [a component] of closed-forest but [is] more often found in marginal communities or in more extensive disturbances within the closed-forest, usually where the soils are of low fertility’. Duke (1983) reported that the species may be capable of ranging from tropical very dry to moist through subtropical dry to wet forest life zones, as is the case in Colombia and Costa Rica. In Antioquia, Colombia, the species is found at altitudes between 0-1500 m in Humid Forest Montano Under (BMH-MB), Rainforest Premontane (bh-PM), tropical wet forest (BMH-T) (Vascular Plants of Antioquia, 2016). Similarly, in Costa Rica, it reportedly grows in ‘Bosque húmedo y muy húmedo, cult. (a veces en plantaciones)’, (‘Humid and very humid forest, cultivated (sometimes in plantations)) at altitudes of 0-1100 m (Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica, 2016).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ManagedManaged forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Present, no further details Natural
LittoralCoastal areas Present, no further details Natural
LittoralMangroves Present, no further details Natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

Sporophytic count for this species is 2n=26 (IPCN Chromosome Reports, 2016).

Reproductive biology

Acacia mangium reproduces by seeds contained in linear pods, which are tightly coiled when ripe, slightly woody, 7-8 cm long and 3-5 mm wide. The seeds are black and shiny, ovate to oblong 3-5 x 2-3 mm (Doran and Turnbull, 1997). Time between flowering and seed maturity is between 180-210 days (FAO, 2016). A. mangium produces a large seedbank (estimated between 66,800 and 115,000 seeds per kg) and a low germination rate (approx. 3% under natural conditions); considering this, as well as the seeds’ impermeability to water and the species’ flowering period of up to 8 months per year, the species poses high potential to be invasive and to remain persistent, even despite the use of physical and chemical control methods on seedlings and trees (Aguiar et al., 2014).

Physiology and phenology:

In its native range, A. mangium flowering follows the wet season in north Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, holding its fruit through the dry season and releasing seed at the onset of the monsoons (Turnbull et al., 1983; Skelton, 1987; Sedgley et al., 1992). A similar pattern may be responsible of the peak flowerings where this species is cultivated: June and July in Peninsular Malaysia (Zakaria and Awang, 1991), January in Sabah (Sedgley et al., 1992), October and November in Taiwan (Kiang et al., 1989) and September in Thailand (Kijkar, 1992).

Environmental requirements

Acacia mangium is capable of growing in a range of environmental conditions. It can tolerate nutrient-deficient soil, heavy soil, lateritic soils (soil with high amounts of iron and aluminum oxides), low pH, poor soil, slopes and weeds (Duke, 1983; Otsamo, 2002; Krisnawati et al., 2011). It is, however, sensitive to salinity and frost and in fires, young trees will be killed, while mature ones are more resistant but may be killed in very hot fires (Krisnawati et al., 2011; FAO, 2016). In South Kalimantan, potassium appears to be a limiting factor to growth, while in Malaysia phosphorus appears to be a critical soil nutrient for growth (Srivastava, 1993; Krisnawati et al., 2011).

The following data in the Environmental Requirements Table is derived from Duke (1983) and FAO (2016).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
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])

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
-1 -18 0 800

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) 0 6
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 22 34
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 31 34
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 12 25

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration06number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall10004000mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

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Summer

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free
  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • alkaline
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • infertile

Notes on Natural Enemies

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The species is relatively free from serious pests and diseases and main threats include fungal infections of heartwood, roots and leaves (Mead and Miller, 1991; Krisnawati et al., 2011). Main insects that attack nursery seedlings include grasshoppers and bagworms, as well as termites that feed on roots and stems (Krisnawati et al., 2011).

Duke (1983) reports: “There are problems with leaf insects. Mangium has symbioses with the bacterium Rhizobium and the fungus Thelephora. Specimens (ca. 12%) in Sabah suffer from a heart rot and a ‘pink disease’ (Corticium salmonicolor [Phanerochaete salmonicolor]). Seedlings in Hawaiian nurseries are attacked by a powdery mildew (Oidium sp.). Three pinhole borers attack the tree in Sabah, especially on poorer sites. Carpenter ants (Camponotus sp.) form galleries in the heartwood of young trees. Wood borers of the genus Xystrocera may be a problem. Seedlings may be defoliated by Hypomecessquamosus. Scale insects and mealy bugs may also be problematic with young plants”.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Vector transmission (biotic)

Acacia mangium produces small black seeds contained within pods that coil and partially open when ripe, allowing the seeds to hang by orange, fleshy funicles that are then eaten by small birds and dispersed (Francis, 2010). The seeds may also simply fall to the ground.

Intentional introduction

The species has been widely introduced to non-native habitats for its use as a wood and timber source as well as for site rehabilitation (Duke, 1983; Doran and Turnbull, 1997; Orchard and Wilson, 2001; Francis, 2010; FAO, 2016).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Digestion and excretionSeeds hang by orange, fleshy funicles that are then eaten by small birds and dispersed Yes Yes Francis (2010)
DisturbanceA pioneer that can naturally regenerate in disturbed sites. Occurs in abundance after forest disturbance, along roads and following slash-and-burn agriculture in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Yes Gunn and Midgley (1991); Krisnawati et al. (2011)
ForestryHas been introduced widely beyond its native range for its use as a hardwood species and in reforestation efforts due to its nitrogen-fixing ability Yes Yes Duke (1983); Brown (2000); Starr et al. (2003); Orchard and Wilson (2001); Krisnawati et al. (2011); PIER (2016)
Habitat restoration and improvementHas been introduced in site rehabilitation efforts due to its nitrogen-fixing ability Yes Yes Duke (1983); Brown (2000); Starr et al. (2003); Orchard and Wilson (2001); Krisnawati et al. (2011); PIER (2016)
Timber tradeWidely cultivated and now one of the most commercially important acacia trees for firewood, furniture and building wood Yes Yes Duke (1983); Starr et al. (2003)

Impact Summary

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

Economic Impact

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Although the species is commercially important, it has been recognized as a pest that outcompetes native species; in French Guiana, for example, farmers have attested to the expense, lack of tools and difficulty of physically removing trees (Aguiar et al., 2014; IABIN, 2016).

Environmental Impact

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Acacia mangium can negatively alter native habitats by changing soil composition through nitrogen-fixation, outcompeting native species for water and light resources and crowding other vegetation by casting shade with its dense canopy. The species is also allelopathic and may prevent the germination of other species attempting to grow (IABIN, 2016).

The species is known to be a threat to native biodiversity, both in its native Australia and in introduced places such as Brazil, Indonesia and the Dominican Republic (Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012; IABIN, 2016; PIER, 2016). Its destruction of native habitats, alteration of soil composition and changes to the fire regime have been linked to the decline of vulnerable and near-threatened Australian species on the IUCN Red List (2016). These include the marsupial Sminthopsis butleri, found only on the Tiwi Islands where A. mangium had ‘recently been established’ as of 2001 (Orchard and Wilson, 2001), the black-footed tree rat Mesembriomys gouldii, which has had a marked population decline in Queensland and Western Australia over the last 10 years and the marsupial Phascogale pirata, which as of 2008 was estimated to have as low was 2500 mature individuals left in the wild (IUCN Red List, 2016).

Risk and Impact Factors

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Invasiveness
  • Invasive in its native range
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Fast growing
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of fire regime
  • Modification of nutrient regime
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Allelopathic
  • Competition - shading
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses

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Economic value

As the most commercially important of tropical acacia trees, A. mangium has generated much positive economic impact in places beyond its native range for its hardwood and pulp that can be used for paper, particle board, furniture, building materials, cabinetry and other carved wood products. It has particular commercial importance in Southeast Asian countries and Brazil (Duke, 1983; Doran and Turnbull, 1997; Orchard and Wilson, 2001; Arisman and Hardiyanto, 2006; Francis, 2010).

Environmental services

Acacia mangium is especially valuable in reforestation efforts due to its nitrogen-fixing ability, which improves soil fertility through production of decomposable, nutrient-rich litter and turnover of fine roots and nodule. In an Indonesian case study of a degraded Imperata cylindrica grassland (Kuusipalo et al., 1995), not only was depleted soil drastically improved, but the dense shade provided by the exotic A. mangium prevented other light-demanding plant species from growing beneath its canopy, thereby aiding the original natural vegetation I. cylindrica to re-establish itself in the grassland.

Uses List

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Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Fodder/animal feed
  • Forage

Environmental

  • Agroforestry
  • Boundary, barrier or support
  • Land reclamation
  • Revegetation
  • Soil improvement

Fuels

  • Charcoal
  • Fuelwood

Human food and beverage

  • Honey/honey flora
  • Vegetable

Materials

  • Carved material
  • Fibre
  • Miscellaneous materials
  • Wood/timber

Wood Products

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Charcoal

Containers

  • Boxes
  • Crates

Furniture

Pulp

  • Short-fibre pulp

Sawn or hewn building timbers

  • Beams
  • For heavy construction

Veneers

Wood-based materials

  • Fibreboard
  • Medium density fibreboard
  • Particleboard

Woodware

  • Brushes
  • Industrial and domestic woodware
  • Tool handles
  • Turnery

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

Physical/mechanical control

Seedlings should be uprooted, particularly in plantations to prevent escape from cultivation (IABIN, 2016; PIER, 2016). Cutting trees is an ineffective method if not used in combination with herbicides, due to regrowth (IABIN, 2016).

Chemical control

Repeated chemical treatment using triclopyr herbicide mixed with an oil has been used on cuttings to prevent regrowth and reduce seed production (IABIN, 2016).

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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Considering its known weediness and invasiveness in various parts of the world beyond its native range, including parts of South America, the Caribbean and Asia Pacific, recommended areas of research include the extent to which this species escapes from cultivation, particularly in places where it is widely cultivated for commercial use. Prevention is difficult due to the dispersal of seeds by birds; research on additional methods of mechanical, chemical and biological control is needed.

References

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Turnbull JW, Skelton DJ, Subagyono M, Hardiyanto EB, 1983. Seed collections of tropical acacias in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia. Forest Genetic Resources Information, FAO, No. 12, 2-15; 15 ref

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Wagner, W. L., Herbst, D. R., Tornabene, M. W., Weitzman, A., Lorence, D. H., 2016. Flora of Micronesia website. In: Flora of Micronesia website . Washington, DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution.http://botany.si.edu/pacificislandbiodiversity/micronesia/index.htm

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Contributors

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01/03/17 Update by:

Marianne Jennifer Datiles, Department of Botany, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Pedro Acevedo-Rodriguez, Department of Botany, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

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