Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Acer rufinerve
(grey snake-bark maple)

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Datasheet

Acer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 13 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Acer rufinerve
  • Preferred Common Name
  • grey snake-bark maple
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Acer rufinerve, commonly known in English as grey snake-bark maple or redvein maple or as urihadakaede (melon-skin maple) in its native Japan, is a medium-sized deciduous tree reaching a height of 15-20 m. This...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Acer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); leaves.
TitleLeaves
CaptionAcer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); leaves.
Copyright©Etienne Branquart - All Rights Reserved
Acer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); leaves.
LeavesAcer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); leaves.©Etienne Branquart - All Rights Reserved
Acer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); trunk of an old specimen with striped bark.
TitleTrunk
CaptionAcer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); trunk of an old specimen with striped bark.
Copyright©Etienne Branquart - All Rights Reserved
Acer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); trunk of an old specimen with striped bark.
TrunkAcer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); trunk of an old specimen with striped bark.©Etienne Branquart - All Rights Reserved
Acer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); trunk of an old specimen with striped bark.
TitleTrunk
CaptionAcer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); trunk of an old specimen with striped bark.
Copyright©Etienne Branquart - All Rights Reserved
Acer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); trunk of an old specimen with striped bark.
TrunkAcer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); trunk of an old specimen with striped bark.©Etienne Branquart - All Rights Reserved
Acer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); fruits (samaras).
TitleFruits
CaptionAcer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); fruits (samaras).
Copyright©Etienne Branquart - All Rights Reserved
Acer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); fruits (samaras).
FruitsAcer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); fruits (samaras).©Etienne Branquart - All Rights Reserved
Acer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); seedlings.
TitleSeedlings
CaptionAcer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); seedlings.
Copyright©Etienne Branquart - All Rights Reserved
Acer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); seedlings.
SeedlingsAcer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); seedlings.©Etienne Branquart - All Rights Reserved
Acer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); seedlings.
TitleSeedlings
CaptionAcer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); seedlings.
Copyright©Etienne Branquart - All Rights Reserved
Acer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); seedlings.
SeedlingsAcer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); seedlings.©Etienne Branquart - All Rights Reserved
Acer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); saplings.
TitleSaplings
CaptionAcer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); saplings.
Copyright©Etienne Branquart - All Rights Reserved
Acer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); saplings.
SaplingsAcer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); saplings.©Etienne Branquart - All Rights Reserved
Acer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); saplings.
TitleSaplings
CaptionAcer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); saplings.
Copyright©Etienne Branquart - All Rights Reserved
Acer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); saplings.
SaplingsAcer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); saplings.©Etienne Branquart - All Rights Reserved
Acer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); regeneration in a forest gap.
TitleRegeneration
CaptionAcer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); regeneration in a forest gap.
Copyright©Etienne Branquart - All Rights Reserved
Acer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); regeneration in a forest gap.
RegenerationAcer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); regeneration in a forest gap.©Etienne Branquart - All Rights Reserved
Acer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); regrowth from stump.
TitleRegrowth
CaptionAcer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); regrowth from stump.
Copyright©Etienne Branquart - All Rights Reserved
Acer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); regrowth from stump.
RegrowthAcer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); regrowth from stump.©Etienne Branquart - All Rights Reserved
Acer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); regrowth from stem.
TitleRegrowth
CaptionAcer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); regrowth from stem.
Copyright©Etienne Branquart - All Rights Reserved
Acer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); regrowth from stem.
RegrowthAcer rufinerve (grey snake-bark maple); regrowth from stem.©Etienne Branquart - All Rights Reserved

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Acer rufinerve Siebold & Zucc.

Preferred Common Name

  • grey snake-bark maple

Other Scientific Names

  • Acer cucullobracteatum Léveillé et Vanniot
  • Acer pensylvanicum subsp. rufinerve (Siebold et Zuccarini) Wesmael

International Common Names

  • English: grey-bud snakebark maple; redvein maple; red-veined maple
  • French: érable à feuilles de vigne; erable à nervures roussâtres; erable à tronc strié; erable jaspé de gris; erable oriental à bourgeons gris

Local Common Names

  • Belgium: grijze streepjesbastesdoorn; rodaderige esdoorn
  • Denmark: rødnervet løn; stribet løn
  • Germany: Rosthaariger Streifenahorn; Rotnerviger Ahorn; Rotnerviger Schlangenhaut-Ahorn
  • Italy: acero grigio giapponese
  • Japan: urihadakaede

EPPO code

  • ACRRU (Acer rufinerve)

Summary of Invasiveness

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Acer rufinerve, commonly known in English as grey snake-bark maple or redvein maple or as urihadakaede (melon-skin maple) in its native Japan, is a medium-sized deciduous tree reaching a height of 15-20 m. This early successional species thrives in forest gaps and edges and in the understorey of open woodlands. It is planted in numerous arboreta and green areas in temperate climatic conditions. It is a very adaptable tree species that may regenerate vegetatively or through the numerous seeds it produces. Although this species is traditionally not considered to be invasive in neither its native nor introduced ranges, recent field observations in three Belgian acidic forests revealed that it may be an aggressive colonizer, strongly regenerating and producing dense thickets up to distances exceeding 50 m from seed trees. Species richness of the herbaceous layer and regeneration of light demanding tree species are strongly reduced in these areas. Similar invasion events are likely to occur in other countries sharing similar eco-climatic conditions to those found in Belgium.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Sapindales
  •                         Family: Aceraceae
  •                             Genus: Acer
  •                                 Species: Acer rufinerve

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Acer is one of the largest tree genera in the broadleaved deciduous forests of the northern hemisphere, with about 200 species. Species of Acer have been subdivided into various sections. Acer rufinerve, first described and published by Philipp Franz von Siebold and Joseph Gerhard Zuccarini in 1845, belongs to section Macrantha, which also includes other weedy species like A. capillipes, A. davidii, A. grosseri and A. pensylvanicum. This monophyletic group of 18-22 species can be distinguished from those of other sections by striped bark, stalked winter buds, two pairs of bud scales with the outer one covering the inner completely, and racemose inflorescences with two subtending leaves. Section Macrantha is mainly distributed in eastern Asia, with a single species, A. pensylvanicum, in eastern North America (Zhang et al., 2010).

Description

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A. rufinerve is a medium-sized deciduous tree growing to 10-15(-20) m. The mature bark is grey-green with narrow grey-white longitudinal stripes. On older specimens the stripes are intersected by diamond-shaped beige patches. Branches are green and new shoots are glaucous, with a bluish-grey bloom. Leaves are opposite, 8–15 cm long and wide, with either 3 or 5 shallow lobes. Where there are 5 lobes the lower ones are small and indistinct, whereas the main lateral lobes are large, forward pointing and acuminate. The terminal lobe is slightly larger than the main lateral lobes and also acuminate. Leaf bases are weakly rounded to shallowly cordate, the leaf margin is irregularly double-serrate and petioles are (2-)5(-6) cm long. The underside of the leaf is paler than the dark green upper side. Leaf veins are impressed on the upper side, and on the lower side covered with brown to rust-coloured hairs, particularly in the axils of the veins, though these disappear with age. Flowering occurs in April and May either at the same time or after leaf emergence. Flowers are in terminal, 5-10 cm racemes with 10-20 flowers. Sexual expression is complex, with some trees changing sex with age, so that in a given population dioecious and monoecious trees can be found. The 5 petals and 5 sepals are pale lime green, held on a short 1-5 mm pedicel. Male flowers have 8 stamens, shorter than the petals and sepals. Samaras are 2-3 cm long with wings spreading at angles of 70-120° (Yamazaki et al., 1993; van Gelderen et al., 1994; Ushimaru and Matsui, 2001; Nanami et al., 2004).

Plant Type

Top of page Broadleaved
Perennial
Seed propagated
Tree
Vegetatively propagated
Woody

Distribution

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A. rufinerve is native to Japan where it is widely distributed in the temperate zone; it is found on the islands of Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and Yakushima in mountain forests up to 2500 m elevation (Ogata, 1999; van Gelderen et al., 2004).

This species, probably the most common snake-bark maple in cultivation worldwide (van Gelderen et al., 1994), has been introduced into North America, Europe and Australia and is cultivated for ornamental purposes in public and private, as well as botanical gardens (BGCI, 2014; University of Copenhagen, 2015) in climatic zones ranging from dry to temperate and cold. However, it is described as invasive in Belgium (Rafalowicz et al., 2009; Branquart et al., 2011) and potentially so in Denmark (Nielsen and Leverenz, 2002). 

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

JapanWidespreadNative Not invasive Gelderen et al., 1994; Ogata, 1999; GBIF, 2015
-HonshuWidespreadNative Not invasive Gelderen et al., 1994; Ogata, 1999; GBIF, 2015
-KyushuWidespreadNative Not invasive Gelderen et al., 1994; Ogata, 1999; GBIF, 2015
-ShikokuWidespreadNative Not invasive Gelderen et al., 1994; Ogata, 1999; GBIF, 2015

North America

CanadaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-British ColumbiaPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-Nova ScotiaPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-QuebecPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-ArizonaPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-CaliforniaPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-ColoradoPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-DelawarePresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-District of ColumbiaPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-GeorgiaPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-IdahoPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-IllinoisPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-KentuckyPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-MarylandPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-MassachusettsPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-MichiganPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-NebraskaPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-New JerseyPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-New YorkPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-North CarolinaPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-OhioPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-OklahomaPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-OregonPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-PennsylvaniaPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-VirginiaPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-WashingtonPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014

Europe

BelgiumLocalisedIntroduced1990 Invasive Rafalowicz et al., 2009; Branquart et al., 2011Established and invasive in at least 3 localities. Abundant regeneration.
Czech RepublicPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
DenmarkPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Invasive Nielsen and Leverenz, 2002Potentially invasive. Abundant regeneration close to mother trees
FinlandPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
FrancePresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
GermanyPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
IrelandPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
LithuaniaPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
NetherlandsPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
PolandPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
Russian FederationPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Central RussiaPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-Northern RussiaPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
SloveniaPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
SwedenPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
SwitzerlandPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
UKPresent, few occurrencesIntroduced Not invasive GBIF, 2015Reported as present in the wild

Oceania

AustraliaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-South AustraliaPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-TasmaniaPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
-VictoriaPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014
New ZealandPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive BGCI, 2014

History of Introduction and Spread

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A. rufinerve has been introduced from Asia as an ornamental plant species to many botanical gardens around the world. It is available as an ornamental from the catalogues and websites of commercial nurseries and botanical gardens (Halford et al., 2011; BGCI, 2014). It was introduced to nurseries in Denmark in 1880 (University of Copenhagen, 2015) and Belgium in 1881 (Halford et al., 2010). The first reported observation in the wild outside its native range dates back to 1990 in Belgium (Branquart et al., 2011) where, in Hainaut province in the west of the country, a few A. rufinerve trees had been planted by foresters in the Bon-Secours forest near Mons in the period 1950-70. By the first decade of the 21st century they had colonized over 60 ha (Rafalowicz et al., 2009). Possible invasive populations have also been observed in forests in Soignes and Halle (Halford et al., 2010).

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Belgium Japan 1881 Ornamental purposes (pathway cause) Yes Halford et al. (2010) Planted in forests in 1950-70 but has since become invasive
Denmark Japan 1880 Ornamental purposes (pathway cause) Yes University of Copenhagen (2015) Trees in arboretum display invasive characteristics

Risk of Introduction

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A. rufinerve is a common ornamental tree in Europe, North America and Australia. It is cultivated in areas with dry, temperate and cold climatic conditions and has shown itself able to naturalize in temperate regions (e.g. Belgium). Considering the species’ availability from commercial nursery catalogues and websites (Halford et al., 2011), the risk of secondary introduction into the wild is potentially important. In Denmark, the species was mentioned in 2002 as noteworthy for its locally abundant natural regeneration close to source trees in Hørsholm Arboretum, indicating its potential ability to spread in that country (Nielsen and Leverenz, 2002).

Habitat

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Grey snake-bark maple is an early successional and light-demanding species which occupies open habitats, such as forest edges, canopy gaps and also the sub-canopy in secondary forests. Its abundance decreases as succession proceeds (Sakai, 1987; Masaki et al., 1992; Matsui, 1995). It is very shade tolerant at the seedling and sapling stages, but needs the better light conditions found in forest gaps to grow larger (Hiroshi Tanaka, pers. obs.). In its native range, it grows in the middle and upper parts of mountain forest slopes, up to an elevation of 2500 m (van Gelderen et al., 1994; Vertrees and Gregory, 2010).

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
Urban / peri-urban areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Principal habitat Natural
Scrub / shrublands Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Scrub / shrublands Principal habitat Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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Young stems of A. rufinerve form very dense thickets wherein few herbaceous plant species are able to grow. Forest light-demanding herbaceous species like Lonicera periclymenum, Luzula spp. and Pteridium aquilinum are likely to be outcompeted by the invasive tree. However, bramble (Rubus fruticosus) often co-occurs with it, sometimes at high densities. A. rufinerve also significantly decreases natural regeneration of heliophilous tree species like Quercus robur and Fraxinus excelsior (Rafalowicz, 2009; Rafalowicz et al., 2009).

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Fraxinus excelsior (ash)OleaceaeMain
Lonicera periclymenum (common honeysuckle)CaprifoliaceaeUnknown
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken)DennstaedtiaceaeUnknown
Quercus robur (common oak)FagaceaeMain

Growth Stages

Top of page Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number for A. rufinerve is 2n = 26 (Gelderen et al., 1994).

Reproductive Biology

As in other striped maples like A. pensylvanicum (Hibbs and Fischer, 1979), A. rufinerve is known to reproduce both sexually and vegetatively and to change sex according to growth conditions and plant health (Matsui, 1995; Nanami et al., 2004). Flowering starts in April-May, synchronously with leaf emergence. An inflorescence consists of a raceme with approximately 15 flowers. Pollen is dispersed by small bees and dipterans. Samaras ripen in autumn and are dispersed by wind. Three types of sex expression are observed: male, female and bisexual. Sex expression is associated with tree growth rate and mortality; the growth rate was observed to decrease for trees whose sex changed from male to female or bisexual, and increase for trees whose sex changed from female to male or bisexual. Trees usually reproduced as females before they died (Nanami et al., 2004).

In Belgium, as in its native range, seed production is usually very high, higher than in other Acer species, and can start early, even on small-sized trees (Tanaka, 1995; Etienne Branquart, pers. obs.). A. rufinerve forms a short-term persistent seed bank, with a dynamic characterized by a rather opportunistic germination pattern, with part of the seed cohort germinating in the first spring and the rest remaining dormant until the next spring. Germination rate of older seeds is very low (Tanaka, 1995; Frisson et al., 2010; Verzele, 2010).

Layering and basal sprouting are other means of increasing population size in this species, especially in light suppression conditions. It readily resprouts from stumps after cutting or death of the main stem (Sakai, 1987; Hiroshi Tanaka, pers. obs.).

Physiology and Phenology

A. rufinerve is highly adaptable to different environments and light conditions. Plant energy is preferably invested in long shoots, creating large extension growth. Radial growth rate is also very high compared to other Acer species. It has indeterminate growth, enabling suppressed seedlings and saplings to start rapid growth in response to gap formation. When young, growth rate is higher than in most other tree species, both in its native and introduced ranges. It is a rather short-lived species < 100 years) compared to other trees (Sakai, 1987; Etienne Branquart, unpubl. data).

Associations

A. rufinerve is an early successional species which occupies open habitats, such as forest edge and secondary forest, and diminishes in number as succession proceeds (Matsui, 1995). In its native range, recruitment is rather low in spite of strong seed production and is limited by pre- and post-dispersal seed mortality due to predation by larvae of the weevil Bradybatus limbatus and wood mice, respectively (Tanaka, 1995). However, observed pre-dispersal seed predation rate is very low in Belgium and seedling density may exceed 100 seedlings/m2 in the vicinity of mother trees, which leads to the hypothesis that it may benefit from enemy release in its introduced range (Verzele, 2010; Etienne Branquart, unpubl. data). In Bon-Secours forest near Mons in western Belgium, where it has colonized over 60 ha, A. rufinerve has been observed to prefer oak (Quercus) over beech (Fagus) dominated stands and is often found together with Carpinus betulus and Prunus serotina. Bramble (Rubus fruticosus) often co-occurs with it, sometimes at high densities (Rafalowicz et al., 2009).

Environmental Requirements

In its native range A. rufinerve is highly plastic and does not display any strong preference for soil or water conditions. It benefits from clear-cutting and readily re-sprouts from stumps (Hiroshi Tanaka, unpubl. data). In Belgium it is invasive in broadleaved forest dominated by light-demanding tree species like Quercus robur growing on moist brown acidic to podzolic soils, although it tends to avoid the most dry and acidic (pH < 4.0) soils. Natural regeneration and invasiveness appear to be much lower under neutral pH soil conditions. A. rufinerve is often found in or near small forest openings and avoids dense canopies dominated by beech trees (Rafalowicz et al., 2009; Branquart et al, 2011).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer 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)
Df - Continental climate, wet all year Tolerated Continental climate, wet all year (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, wet all year)

Soil Tolerances

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Soil reaction

  • acid
  • very acid

Soil texture

  • light
  • medium

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Bradybatus limbatus Herbivore Seeds not specific
Pratylenchus penetrans Parasite Roots not specific Goodey et al., 1965
Trichaitophorus koyaensis Herbivore Leaves not specific

Notes on Natural Enemies

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In Japan, recruitment of A. rufinerve is rather low in spite of strong seed production and is limited by pre-dispersal seed mortality due to predation by larvae of the weevil Bradybatus limbatus (Tanaka, 1995). The new aphid species Trichaitophorus koyaensis (shown by Sugimoto (2013) to be the accepted name for both Periphyllus montanus and Trichaitophorus takahashii) was described from A. rufinerve by Takahashi in 1961, while the root lesion nematode Pratylenchus penetrans was catalogued as a pest of the tree's roots by Goodey et al. in 1965.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal

Fruits of A. rufinerve are adapted to wind dispersal. According to monitoring data from Ogawa Forest Reserve on Honshu (Japan), about 50% of dispersed seeds fall in an area 50 m distant from the mother tree. The cumulative dispersal curve showed that seeds can potentially be dispersed up to very long distances, but with a very low probability (Takashi Masaki, unpubl. data). In Belgium, seed density was found to be extremely high near mother trees; only a few seedlings were observed at distances exceeding 250-500 m from the mother trees. Fast invasion of an oak-dominated forest has been observed; more than 60 hectares were colonized from a few mother trees in less than 20 years (Rafalowicz et al., 2009; Verzele, 2010).

Intentional Introduction

The species was introduced from Asia in the late 19th century as an ornamental tree to many botanical gardens and arboreta around the world. It is widely planted in gardens and parks. In Belgium, a survey performed in 2010 to quantify the presence of invasive alien plants in the horticultural market showed that A. rufinerve was present in 20 out of 146 horticultural catalogues (Halford et al., 2011; 2014). A few A. rufinerve trees were deliberately planted by foresters in the 300 ha forest of Bon-Secours near Mons in the period 1950-1970. By the first decade of the 21st century they had colonized over 60 ha (Rafalowicz et al., 2009).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
ForestryDeliberately planted in forests Yes
HorticultureDeliberately raised and planted Yes
Intentional releasePlanted as an ornamental Yes Yes
Nursery tradeWidely raised and available from nurseries Yes
Ornamental purposesDeliberately planted in parks and gardens Yes Yes

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Wind Yes

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive
Economic/livelihood Positive and negative
Environment (generally) Negative

Economic Impact

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Although the extent of economic losses due to the presence of A. rufinerve in managed forests are not known, the costs of management and loss of timber production are not negligible (Halford et al., 2010). Potential impacts due to invasion by the species are poorly understood and difficult to assess because interactions with other tree species need to be studied in the context of long-term plant succession and forest dynamics. As the number of invaded sites is limited and management actions are undertaken to halt invasion, any study of long term vegetation dynamics is difficult. In Belgium impact information may be derived from field observations performed at invaded sites. 

Environmental Impact

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Under acidic growing conditions, A. rufinerve where invasive exhibits prolific regeneration and produces dense thickets up to 50 m from mother trees, usually in the vicinity of forest gaps or under light canopy with intermediate light conditions. As a result, the abundance and species richness of the herbaceous layer is strongly reduced, and regeneration of light demanding tree species is inhibited in areas where these dense thickets form (Rafalowicz, 2009; Verzele, 2010; Branquart et al., 2011).

In its native range, however, dense populations are observed infrequently and A. rufinerve does not form monospecific stands, probably due to control by seed predators and other natural enemies. It is not especially considered as a specific nuisance by foresters although it may exhibit weedy behaviour in young forest plantations (Hiroshi Tanaka, pers. obs.).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its 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
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts forestry
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses

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Economic Value

A. rufinerve has no silvicultural value, although traditionally in Japan it was grown in managed coppice woodlands in satoyama landscapes. Bark of trees 10-15 years old was stripped, shredded and used as a source of fibres for making string, bags and work clothes (Nakagawa, 2003). It is widely propagated and raised in nurseries for sale as a garden ornamental. A survey performed in Belgium in 2010 to quantify the presence of invasive alien plants in the horticultural market showed that A. rufinerve was present in 20 out of 146 horticultural catalogues (Halford et al., 2011; 2014).

Social Benefit

A. rufinerve is widely grown as an ornamental for its attractive bark with white stripes, as well as for its foliage which turns red to orange in the autumn (University of Copenhagen, 2015). Notable ornamental cultivars which have been developed include ‘Erythrocladum’, with leaves and bark stripes coloured yellow-green, and ‘Albolimbatum’ and ‘Hatsuyaki’ with variegated leaves.

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Ornamental

General

  • Botanical garden/zoo
  • Ornamental

Materials

  • Fibre

Ornamental

  • garden plant

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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There are several striped-bark Acer species within section Macrantha with which A. rufinerve could be confused, including A. capillipes, A. davidii, A. grosseri and A. pensylvanicum. These species, however, do not display the two following diagnostic criteria of A. rufinerve: rust-coloured hairs on veins on the underside of leaves and the dense coverage of young shoots by a soft bluish-grey bloom with no trace of red. A. capillipes is distinguished from A. rufinerve based on its red petiole, some redness to the bark, less forward-pointing leaf lobes and lack of rust-coloured hairs on veins. A. davidii has entire or only slightly 3-lobed leaves, but can have rufous pubescence on the underside of young leaves. A. pensylvanicum and A. grosseri are similar but lack the red hairs on the underside of leaves and white-blue bloom on young growth (van Gelderen et al., 1994; Vertrees and Gregory, 2010).

Prevention and Control

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Different techniques have been tested in Belgium to control A. rufinerve in invaded forest areas. Due to a shallow rooting system, young stems up to 4-5 cm in diameter can be easily hand pulled (and destroyed). Hand pulling of larger stems is more difficult and could be replaced by cutting combined with chemical treatment of stumps to avoid sprouting. Hand pulling could become very laborious when treating large areas. In such situations, mechanical soil crushing up to a depth of 25 cm may be favoured, but superficial mulching has to be avoided because of the high sprouting capacity of the plant. As soil crushing generates strong soil perturbation, it has to be avoided in protected areas and at sites where this practice may facilitate the development of other invasive plants (Frisson et al., 2010). As with the control of Prunus serotina and other light demanding invasive trees, single stem harvesting has to be favoured over clear-cutting, and shade tolerant trees have to be encouraged in order to reduce light transmission and outcompete invaders (Jacquemart et al., 2010; Invexo, 2012).

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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Considering the intensive use of A. rufinerve as an ornamental plant in private, public and botanic gardens as well as the high regeneration and dissemination dynamics observed in Belgium, the propagule pressure is expected to be high. The species is certainly not studied enough and its occurrence in managed and natural forests is probably underestimated. In particular, species capacity to escape from cultivated areas should be further investigated, as well as factors potentially limiting its development in the adventive range.

References

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BGCI, 2014. Botanic Gardens Conservation International. https://www.bgci.org/plant_search.php

Branquart E; Dupriez P; Vanderhoeven S; Landuyt Wvan; Rossum Fvan; Verloove F, 2011. Harmonia database: Acer rufinerve - red veined maple. Harmonia version 1.2., Belgium: Belgian Forum on Invasive Species. http://ias.biodiversity.be

Frisson G; Halford M; Mahy G, 2010. Final report: Problems of land contaminated by invasive plants in the Walloon Region and monitoring management trials for Spiraea spp., Cotoneaster horizontalis and Acer rufinerve (Rapport final: Problematique des terres contaminees par les plantes invasives en Region wallonne et suivi des tests de gestion pour Spiraea spp., Cotoneaster horizontalis et Acer rufinerve). Gembloux, Belgium: Unite Biodiversite et Paysages, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, Universite de Liege, 28 pp.

GBIF, 2015. Global Biodiversity Information Facility. http://www.gbif.org/species

Gelderen DM van; Jong PC de; Oterdoom HJ, 1994. Maples of the world. Portland, Oregon, USA; Timber Press, 458 pp.

Goodey JB; Franklin MT; Hooper DJ, 1965. The nematode parasites of plants catalogued under their hosts. Third edition. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.

Halford M; Frisson G; Delbart E; Mahy G, 2010. Fact sheet. Species: grey snake-bark maple, Acer rufinerve Siebold et Zuccarini 1875 (Fiche descriptive. Espece : Erable jaspe de gris, Acer rufinerve Siebold et Zuccarini 1875). Liege, Belgium: Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, 5 pp.

Halford M; Heemers L; Mathys C; Vanderhoeven S; Mahy G, 2011. Socio-economic survey on invasive ornamental plants in Belgium. AlterIAS Project final report. Gembloux, Belgium: Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liege, 31 pp. http://www.alterias.be/images/stories/downloads/socio_economic_survey_en.pdf

Halford M; Heemers L; Wesemael Dvan; Mathys C; Wallens S; Branquart E; Vanderhoeven S; Monty A; Mahy G, 2014. The voluntary Code of conduct on invasive alien plants in Belgium: results and lessons learned from the AlterIAS LIFE+ project. Bulletin OEPP/EPPO Bulletin, 44(2):212-222. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1365-2338

Hibbs DE; Fischer BC, 1979. Sexual and vegetative reproduction of striped maple (Acer pensylvanicum L.). Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club, 106(3):222-226.

Invexo, 2012. Black cherry: what now? An approach for Flemish and Dutch forests. Final report of the Invexo case study 'Black cherry' (Amerikaanse vogelkers: wat nu? Een aanpak voor Vlaamse en Nederlandse bossen. Eindrapport van de Invexo-casus 'Amerikanaanse vogelkers'). Brussels, Belgium: Invexo, 131 pp. http://www.invexo.be/~/media/Files/Invexo/Eindrapport%20Amerikaanse%20vogelkers%20maart2013.pdf

Jacquemart AL; Decocq G; Vanhellemont M; Verheyen K, 2010. Should we fight it or live with it? The case of the black cherry, Prunus serotina, invasion. (Faut-il lutter ou vivre avec? Le cas de l'invasion par le cerisier tardif, Prunus serotina.) Silva Belgica, 117(3):16-22.

Masaki T; Suzuki W; Niiyama K; Iida S; Tanaka H; Nakashizuka T, 1992. Community structure of a species-rich temperate forest, Ogawa Forest Reserve, central Japan. Vegetatio, 98(2):97-111.

Matsui K, 1995. Sex expression, sex change and fruiting habit in an Acer rufinerve population. Ecological Research, 10(1):65-74.

Nakagawa S, 2003. Nature study in satoyama landscapes. In: Satoyama - the traditional rural landscape of Japan [ed. by Takeuchi, K. \Brown, R. D. \Washitani, I. \Tsunekawa, A. \Yokohari, M.]. Tokyo, Japan: Springer-Verlag Tokyo, 172-178.

Nanami S; Kawaguchi H; Yamakura T, 2004. Sex change towards female in dying Acer rufinerve trees. Annals of Botany, 93(6):733-740.

Nielsen H; Leverenz JW, 2002. Escaping, naturalized and native woody plant taxa around The Arboretum in Hørsholm. Dansk Dendrologisk Arsskrift, 20:39-59.

Ogata K, 1999. Aceraceae. In: Flora of Japan, Volume IIc [ed. by Iwatsuki, K. \Boufford, D. E. \Ohba, H.]. Tokyo, Japan: Kodansha, 60-73.

Rafalowicz T, 2009. An ecological approach and protocol for the prevention of a new invasive species in the forest of Bonsecours : Acer rufinerve Siebold & Zuccari (Approche ecologique et protocol de prevention d'une nouvelle espece invasive dans la foret domaniale de Bonsecours : Acer rufinerve Siebold & Zuccari). Liege, Belgium: Haute Ecole de la Province de Liege, 73 pp.

Rafalowicz T; Branquart E; Halford M, 2009. Acer rufinerve, a new invasive tree in Belgium. In: Poster session. Science Facing Aliens, Brussels, Belgium, 11 May 2009. http://ias.biodiversity.be/outputs/200905_science_facing_aliens

Sakai S, 1987. Patterns of branching and extension growth of vigorous saplings of Japanese Acer species in relation to their regeneration strategies. Canadian Journal of Botany, 65(8):1578-1585.

Sugimoto S, 2013. Revision of three aphids described from a red-vein maple Acer rufinerve in Japan (Hemiptera: Aphididae). Insecta Matsumurana, No.69:27-40.

Takahashi R, 1961. Three new genera and five new and little known species of Aphididae from Japan (Homoptera). Kontyu, 29:247-254.

Tanaka H, 1995. Seed demography of three co-occurring Acer species in a Japanese temperate deciduous forest. Journal of Vegetation Science, 6(6):887-896.

University of Copenhagen, 2015. The arboretum in Horsholm. Redvein maple - Acer rufinerve. http://ign.ku.dk/arboretum-hoersholm/plant_descriptions/march_acer_rufinerve/

Ushimaru A; Matsui K, 2001. Sex change in tree species: long-term monitoring of sex expression in Acer rufinerve. Nordic Journal of Botany, 21(4):397-399.

Vertrees JD; Gregory P, 2010. Japanese maples: the complete guide to selection and cultivation. Fourth edition. Portland, Oregon, USA: Timber Press, 404 pp.

Verzele C, 2010. Acer rufinerve Siebold & Zuccarini: ecological approach and study methodology (Acer rufinerve Siebold & Zuccarini: approche ecologique et methodologie d'etude). Mons, Belgium: Haute Ecole Provinciale du Hainaut Condorcet, 104 pp.

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Zhang ZhiHong; Li ChunQi; Li JianHua, 2010. Conflicting phylogenies of section Macrantha (Acer, Aceroideae, Sapindaceae) based on chloroplast and nuclear DNA. Systematic Botany, 35(4):801-810. http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.1600/036364410X539871

Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
Invasive species in Belgiumhttp://ias.biodiversity.be/species/show/119

Contributors

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28/11/2014   Original text by:

Etienne Branquart, Sonia Vanderhoeven, Quentin Groom, Hiroshi Tanaka, Consultants, Belgium and Japan

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