Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Vicia villosa
(hairy vetch)

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Datasheet

Vicia villosa (hairy vetch)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 25 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Vicia villosa
  • Preferred Common Name
  • hairy vetch
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • V. villosa, commonly known as hairy vetch, is now present on all continents. It is considered as native to southern and central Europe, North Africa, West and Central Asia but its native range is difficult to ascertain because of its wide...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Vicia villosa (hairy vetch); flowering habit. Nr. McDermit Station, Mariposa County, California, USA. June, 2010.
TitleFlowering habit
CaptionVicia villosa (hairy vetch); flowering habit. Nr. McDermit Station, Mariposa County, California, USA. June, 2010.
Copyright©Steven Thorsted/CalPhotos - CC BY-NC 3.0
Vicia villosa (hairy vetch); flowering habit. Nr. McDermit Station, Mariposa County, California, USA. June, 2010.
Flowering habitVicia villosa (hairy vetch); flowering habit. Nr. McDermit Station, Mariposa County, California, USA. June, 2010.©Steven Thorsted/CalPhotos - CC BY-NC 3.0
Vicia villosa (hairy vetch); flowering habit. Zimmer Farm Canby, Clackamus Co. Oregon, USA. June, 2010.
TitleFlowering habit
CaptionVicia villosa (hairy vetch); flowering habit. Zimmer Farm Canby, Clackamus Co. Oregon, USA. June, 2010.
Copyright©Steven Thorsted/CalPhotos - CC BY-NC 3.0
Vicia villosa (hairy vetch); flowering habit. Zimmer Farm Canby, Clackamus Co. Oregon, USA. June, 2010.
Flowering habitVicia villosa (hairy vetch); flowering habit. Zimmer Farm Canby, Clackamus Co. Oregon, USA. June, 2010.©Steven Thorsted/CalPhotos - CC BY-NC 3.0
Vicia villosa (hairy vetch); close-up of flowers. Zimmer Farm Canby, Clackamus Co. Oregon, USA. June, 2010.
TitleFlowering habit
CaptionVicia villosa (hairy vetch); close-up of flowers. Zimmer Farm Canby, Clackamus Co. Oregon, USA. June, 2010.
Copyright©Steven Thorsted/CalPhotos - CC BY-NC 3.0
Vicia villosa (hairy vetch); close-up of flowers. Zimmer Farm Canby, Clackamus Co. Oregon, USA. June, 2010.
Flowering habitVicia villosa (hairy vetch); close-up of flowers. Zimmer Farm Canby, Clackamus Co. Oregon, USA. June, 2010.©Steven Thorsted/CalPhotos - CC BY-NC 3.0
Vicia villosa (hairy vetch); green seedpod. North of highway 12, nr Suisun City, Solano County, California, USA. April, 2008.
TitleSeedpod
CaptionVicia villosa (hairy vetch); green seedpod. North of highway 12, nr Suisun City, Solano County, California, USA. April, 2008.
Copyright©Zoya Akulova-2008/CalPhotos - CC BY-NC 3.0
Vicia villosa (hairy vetch); green seedpod. North of highway 12, nr Suisun City, Solano County, California, USA. April, 2008.
SeedpodVicia villosa (hairy vetch); green seedpod. North of highway 12, nr Suisun City, Solano County, California, USA. April, 2008.©Zoya Akulova-2008/CalPhotos - CC BY-NC 3.0
Vicia villosa (hairy vetch); dry seedpod. On a logging road in redwood forest. Nr. Suisun City, Solano County, California, USA. July, 2011.
TitleSeedpod
CaptionVicia villosa (hairy vetch); dry seedpod. On a logging road in redwood forest. Nr. Suisun City, Solano County, California, USA. July, 2011.
Copyright©Zoya Akulova-2011/CalPhotos - CC BY-NC 3.0
Vicia villosa (hairy vetch); dry seedpod. On a logging road in redwood forest. Nr. Suisun City, Solano County, California, USA. July, 2011.
SeedpodVicia villosa (hairy vetch); dry seedpod. On a logging road in redwood forest. Nr. Suisun City, Solano County, California, USA. July, 2011.©Zoya Akulova-2011/CalPhotos - CC BY-NC 3.0
Vicia villosa (hairy vetch); dry seedpod, with seeds. On a logging road in redwood forest. Nr. Suisun City, Solano County, California, USA. July, 2011.
TitleSeedpod
CaptionVicia villosa (hairy vetch); dry seedpod, with seeds. On a logging road in redwood forest. Nr. Suisun City, Solano County, California, USA. July, 2011.
Copyright©Zoya Akulova-2011/CalPhotos - CC BY-NC 3.0
Vicia villosa (hairy vetch); dry seedpod, with seeds. On a logging road in redwood forest. Nr. Suisun City, Solano County, California, USA. July, 2011.
SeedpodVicia villosa (hairy vetch); dry seedpod, with seeds. On a logging road in redwood forest. Nr. Suisun City, Solano County, California, USA. July, 2011.©Zoya Akulova-2011/CalPhotos - CC BY-NC 3.0
Vicia villosa (hairy vetch); seeds. Note mm scale. Source - Stanislaus Co., Woodward Reservoir County Park, Californiam USA. June, 2012.
TitleSeeds
CaptionVicia villosa (hairy vetch); seeds. Note mm scale. Source - Stanislaus Co., Woodward Reservoir County Park, Californiam USA. June, 2012.
Copyright©Jean Pawek-2012/CalPhotos
Vicia villosa (hairy vetch); seeds. Note mm scale. Source - Stanislaus Co., Woodward Reservoir County Park, Californiam USA. June, 2012.
SeedsVicia villosa (hairy vetch); seeds. Note mm scale. Source - Stanislaus Co., Woodward Reservoir County Park, Californiam USA. June, 2012.©Jean Pawek-2012/CalPhotos

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Vicia villosa

Preferred Common Name

  • hairy vetch

Other Scientific Names

  • Vicia dasycarpa

International Common Names

  • English: fodder vetch; Russian vetch; sand vetch; winter vetch; wooly vetch; woolypod vetch; woolypod vetch
  • Spanish: arvejilla vellosa; veza vellosa
  • French: vesce de Russie; vesce velue
  • Russian: vika ozimaâ
  • Chinese: chang rou mao ye wan dou

Local Common Names

  • Denmark: sandvikke
  • Germany: sandwicke; zottelwicke
  • Italy: vecccia velllutata
  • Japan: hearii-betchi
  • Netherlands: bonte wikke
  • Portugal: ervilhaca-vilosa

Summary of Invasiveness

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V. villosa, commonly known as hairy vetch, is now present on all continents. It is considered as native to southern and central Europe, North Africa, West and Central Asia but its native range is difficult to ascertain because of its wide naturalization after cultivation for fodder production and as a cover crop. V. villosa usually spreads from cultivation to nearby sites where it can be self-maintained. It is a potential contaminant of crop seeds and can behave as an agricultural or environmental weed. Hairy vetch can alter habitat structure and reduce the abundance of native plants through competition for space. It can also poison mammals and poultry. In California, it has been evaluated as an invasive plant but its impacts in wildlands are considered minor (Cal-IPC, 2015).

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Fabales
  •                         Family: Fabaceae
  •                             Subfamily: Papilionoideae
  •                                 Genus: Vicia
  •                                     Species: Vicia villosa

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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According to The Plant List (2013) there are three accepted subspecific taxa: V. villosa subsp. ambigua (Guss.) Kerguelen, V. villosa subsp. microphylla (d'Urv.) P.W.Ball and V. villosa subsp. varia (Host) Corb. 

Different taxonomical treatments are presented in other floras (Romero Zarco, 1999; Tison et al., 2014) where for example V. villosa subsp. ambigua is considered the independent species Vicia pseudocracca Bertol. and V. villosa subsp. varia is treated as V. dasycarpa Ten.

V. eriocarpa (Hausskn.) Halácsy is included as a synonym of V. villosa subsp. varia by The Plant List (2013), but it is considered as a separate subspecies V. villosa Roth subsp. eriocarpa (Hausskn.) P.W.Ball by ILDIS (2015) and Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (2015) or given species level rank as V. eriocarpa (Hausskn.) Halácsy by other sources (Romero Zarco, 1999; Tison et al., 2014). 

Description

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V. villosa is a hairy, occasionally climbing, annual plant (sometimes biennial or perennial) reaching up to 150 cm in height. It has paripinnate compound leaves ending in a ramified tendril, with 5-12 pairs of narrowly elliptical leaflets; stipules eglandular. Papilionaceous flowers (butterfly-like corolla) are blue, violet, purple, or rarely white. The corolla is 10-20 mm and the limb of the standard is nearly half as long as the claw; the calyx gibbous at the base. The inflorescence is a dense raceme with 7-22 flowers; inflorescence peduncle equal or longer than the subtending leaf. The fruit is an elliptic legume 20-40 x (4-)6-12 mm, and brown when mature. There are 2-8 seeds per pod, 3 mm in diameter, often with a hilum measuring 1/12-1/5 of their circumference.

The three recognised subspecies of V. villosa have glabrous or appressed pubescent stems and their lower calyx-teeth are shorter than the tube (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2015; Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2015).

Plant Type

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Annual
Biennial
Broadleaved
Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated
Vine / climber

Distribution

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It is recorded as native to North Africa, southern and central Europe, West and Central Asia. Its native range is difficult to ascertain however, as it has been widely cultivated and naturalized and is now present on all continents (Ohwi, 1965; Romero Zarco, 1999; Wiersema and León, 2013; Tison et al., 2014; ILDIS, 2015; Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2015). It has been widely introduced to the USA in the 1700s and since its arrival it has become one of the most cultivated vetch species. 

It is likely to be present in many more countries than are listed in the Distrubtion Table.  

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 Feb 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

AlgeriaPresentNative
EgyptPresentNative
EthiopiaPresentIntroduced
KenyaPresentIntroduced
LibyaPresentNative
MoroccoPresentNative
TunisiaPresentNative

Asia

AfghanistanPresentNative
ArmeniaPresentNative
AzerbaijanPresentNative
BhutanPresentIntroduced
ChinaPresentIntroduced
-GansuPresentIntroduced
-GuangdongPresentIntroduced
-HebeiPresentIntroduced
-HunanPresentIntroduced
-Inner MongoliaPresentIntroduced
-JiangsuPresentIntroduced
-ShandongPresentIntroduced
-XinjiangPresentIntroduced
-ZhejiangPresentIntroduced
GeorgiaPresentNative
IndiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Tamil NaduPresent
IranPresentNative
IraqPresentNative
IsraelPresentNative
JapanPresentIntroduced
JordanPresentNative
KazakhstanPresentNative
KyrgyzstanPresentNative
LebanonPresentNative
PakistanPresent
TaiwanPresentIntroduced
TajikistanPresent
TurkeyPresentNative
TurkmenistanPresent

Europe

AlbaniaPresentNative
AustriaPresentNative
BelarusPresentNative
BelgiumPresentIntroduced
BulgariaPresentNative
CyprusPresentNative
CzechoslovakiaPresentNative
Federal Republic of YugoslaviaPresentNative
DenmarkPresentIntroduced
EstoniaPresentNative
FinlandPresentIntroduced
FrancePresentNative
-CorsicaPresentNative
GermanyPresentNative
GreecePresentNative
HungaryPresentNative
ItalyPresentNative
LatviaPresentIntroduced
LithuaniaPresentNative
NetherlandsPresentNative
NorwayPresentIntroduced
PolandPresentNative
PortugalPresentNative
RussiaPresentNative
SpainPresentNative
SwitzerlandPresentNative
UkrainePresentNative
United KingdomPresentIntroduced1815

North America

CanadaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-British ColumbiaPresentIntroduced
-ManitobaPresentIntroduced
-Nova ScotiaPresentIntroduced
-OntarioPresentIntroduced
-QuebecPresentIntroduced
-YukonPresentIntroduced
Costa RicaPresentIntroduced
GuatemalaPresentIntroduced
MexicoPresentIntroduced
United StatesPresentIntroduced
-AlabamaPresentIntroduced
-AlaskaPresentIntroduced
-ArizonaPresentIntroduced
-ArkansasPresentIntroduced
-CaliforniaPresentIntroduced
-ColoradoPresentIntroduced
-ConnecticutPresentIntroduced
-DelawarePresentIntroduced
-District of ColumbiaPresentIntroduced
-FloridaPresentIntroduced
-GeorgiaPresentIntroduced
-HawaiiPresentIntroduced
-IdahoPresentIntroduced
-IllinoisPresentIntroduced
-IndianaPresentIntroduced
-IowaPresentIntroduced
-KansasPresentIntroduced
-KentuckyPresentIntroduced
-LouisianaPresentIntroduced
-MainePresentIntroduced
-MarylandPresentIntroduced
-MassachusettsPresentIntroduced
-MichiganPresentIntroduced
-MinnesotaPresentIntroduced
-MississippiPresentIntroduced
-MissouriPresentIntroduced
-MontanaPresentIntroduced
-NebraskaPresentIntroduced
-NevadaPresentIntroduced
-New HampshirePresentIntroduced
-New JerseyPresentIntroduced
-New MexicoPresentIntroduced
-New YorkPresentIntroduced
-North CarolinaPresentIntroduced
-North DakotaPresentIntroduced
-OhioPresentIntroduced
-OklahomaPresentIntroduced
-OregonPresentIntroduced
-PennsylvaniaPresentIntroduced
-Rhode IslandPresentIntroduced
-South CarolinaPresentIntroduced
-South DakotaPresentIntroduced
-TennesseePresentIntroduced
-TexasPresentIntroduced
-UtahPresentIntroduced
-VermontPresentIntroduced
-VirginiaPresentIntroduced
-WashingtonPresentIntroduced
-West VirginiaPresentIntroduced
-WisconsinPresentIntroduced
-WyomingPresentIntroduced

Oceania

AustraliaPresentIntroduced
-New South WalesPresentIntroduced
-QueenslandPresentIntroduced
-South AustraliaPresentIntroduced
-TasmaniaPresentIntroduced
-VictoriaPresentIntroduced
-Western AustraliaPresentIntroduced
New ZealandPresentIntroduced
Timor-LestePresentIntroduced

South America

ArgentinaPresentIntroduced
BoliviaPresentIntroduced
BrazilPresentIntroduced
ChilePresentIntroduced
ColombiaPresentIntroduced

History of Introduction and Spread

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V. villosa has been widely introduced as a fodder crop. Since its introduction to the USA in the 1700s, V. villosa has become the most commonly cultivated vetch (Heuzé et al., 2014). Records suggest that it was first grown in the UK in 1815 and later recorded in the wild in 1857 (Biological Records Centre, 2015).

Introductions

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Risk of Introduction

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V. villosa is an important fodder crop and has been and still is deliberately introduced for fodder production to countries outside of its native range. It can spread from its site of cultivation to nearby sites (Owsley, 2011; Wiersema and León, 2013) and is a potential contaminant of crop seeds (USDA-ARS, 2015). 

Habitat

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It is considered a hardy species, tolerating frost, drought and flooding and can thus inhabit a range of environments including, managed and natural grasslands, agricultural land, disturbed areas, such as roadsides, and edges of cropland and abandoned fields (Lapina and Carlson, 2013). 

In Africa, it occupies Mediterranean bushland and thicket, Afromontane (upland) and anthropic landscapes (ILDIS, 2015).  

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Principal habitat Natural
Terrestrial ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ManagedManaged grasslands (grazing systems) Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Principal habitat Natural
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Principal habitat Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Principal habitat Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalScrub / shrublands Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalScrub / shrublands Principal habitat Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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V. villosa can be a common weed in vineyards and orchards (France, Italy), in olive (Olea europaea) plantations (Spain), and croplands; affecting maize (Zea mays) (Belgium, Portugal), grain legume crops, spring-summer vegetables (Portugal), winter crops (Belgium, Germany) and rape (Brassica rapa)(Germany) (Hyppa, 2015).

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContextReferences
Brassica rapa subsp. rapa (turnip)BrassicaceaeMain
    Hordeum vulgare (barley)PoaceaeMain
      Olea europaeaOleaceaeMain
        Triticum aestivum (wheat)PoaceaeMain
          Vitis vinifera (grapevine)VitaceaeMain
            Zea mays (maize)PoaceaeMain

              Biology and Ecology

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              Genetics

              V. villosa is reported to have a chromosome number of 2n = 14 (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2015)

              Reproductive Biology

              Flowers are usually cross-pollinated by bumble bees (Owsley, 2011), and although some self-pollination may occur; cross-pollination greatly increases seed production (Gunn, 1979). In cultivation this vetch species can be autumn-seeded and reach maturity the following July (Undersander et al., 2015). In North America, V. villosa is grown as an annual or winter annual; if it is sown in late summer the seeds germinate and the seedlings are able to develop a crown before the first snow. In spring, the stems are produced and then flowering takes place in mid-June with the pods maturing from 10-25 July. If the plant is sown in spring it will produce seeds in the same season. Further details on V. villosa development for cultivation in North America can be found in Undersander et al. (2015).

              Physiology and Phenology

              Flowering and fruiting in the Northern Hemisphere takes place between April and October (Tison et al., 2014; Flora of China Editorial Committee 2015) and between November and March in the in the Southern Hemisphere (Webb et al., 1988). V. villosa has allelopathic properties, conferring an advantage when in cultivation and reducing weed competition (Heuzé et al., 2014).

              Longevity

              Information on the persistence of V. villosa seeds in the seed-bank is not consistent; according to Myers (2015) they can remain in the soil seed bank for several years, whereas a study by McKee and Musil (1984; cited by Lapina and Carlson, 2013) affirm that the seeds are viable for less than two years.

              Associations

              V. villosa is able to establish a legume-Rhizobium symbiotic relationship, which allows biological nitrogen fixation (Tikhonovich et al., 1995; Owsley, 2011; Undersander et al., 2015).      

              Environmental Requirements

              Hairy vetch is a hardy species, tolerating frost, drought and flooding (Lapina and Carlson, 2013). Although suited to wetter soils and colder winters, it can be susceptible to winter kill in colder climates without snow cover. It can be found in a range of soils but shows a preference for loamy and sandy soils (Undersander et al., 2015) and grows well on light soils that are too sandy for crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum). It is only moderately sensitive to soil acidity (Owsley, 2011).

              Climate

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              ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
              BS - Steppe climate Preferred > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
              Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
              Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
              Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Tolerated Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)
              Ds - Continental climate with dry summer Preferred Continental climate with dry summer (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry summers)

              Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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              Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
              65 55

              Rainfall

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              ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
              Mean annual rainfall430mm; lower/upper limits

              Rainfall Regime

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              Winter

              Soil Tolerances

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              Soil drainage

              • free

              Soil reaction

              • acid
              • neutral

              Soil texture

              • heavy
              • light
              • medium

              Natural enemies

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              Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
              Acyrthosiphon pisum Herbivore Undersander et al. (2015)
              Bruchus brachialis Herbivore Plants|Seeds not specific Owsley (2011)
              Helicoverpa zea Herbivore Undersander et al. (2015)
              Meloidogyne Parasite Undersander et al. (2015)

              Notes on Natural Enemies

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              The larvae of the vetch bruchid (Bruchus brachialis) feed on the seeds of V. villosa and can lead to poor reseeding of the plant (Owsley, 2011). The presence of this pest may account for why V. villosa has not been so widely planted in Mexico and Central America (Gunn, 1979). Although B. brachialis is the only pest considered to be a serious problem (Owsley, 2011), other insect pests of forage legumes such as the pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum), cutworm (larvae of Noctuidae moths) and corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea) can affect V. villosa (Undersander et al., 2015).

              Root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) can also cause damage to vetch species (Undersander et al., 2015) and V. villosa is sensitive to several fungal diseases. 

              Means of Movement and Dispersal

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              Natural Dispersal

              The legume pods are dehiscent and tend to shatter soon after maturity (Undersander et al., 2015). Seeds are large and not easily dispersed (Lapina and Carlson, 2013).

              Accidental Introduction

              V. villosa is a potential contaminant of crop seeds (USDA-ARS, 2015).

              Intentional Introduction

              It has been deliberately introduced around the world for fodder production (Gunn, 1979; Wiersema and León, 2013) and can escape cultivation to nearby sites where it can be self-maintained (Lapina and Carlson, 2013).

              Pathway Causes

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              CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
              Crop production Yes Yes Heuze et al. (2014)

              Impact Summary

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

              Economic Impact

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              V. villosa can cause poisoning in mammals, including cattle and horses, and poultry (Wiersema and León, 2013; CBIF, 2015). In mammals symptoms include dermatitis and mortality has been recorded in cattle and poultry (CBIF, 2015).

              In cattle, two types of syndromes have been suggested. The first syndrome, acute illness followed by death after ingesting raw seeds and the second syndrome, skin lesions, coughing and respiratory problems, and death after two weeks. In horses, symptoms include conjunctivitus and edema around the lips and eyes. Poisoning is most prevalant mid to late spring (CBIF, 2015).    

              This plant can behave as an agricultural or environmental weed (Randall, 2007; HEAR, 2015; HYPPA, 2015).

              Environmental Impact

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              Impact on Habitats

              V. villosa is able to maintain and extend a stand after establishment, usually in arable land, fallow fields or road sides (Owsley, 2011). It has the potential to affect ecosystem processes, altering the nitrogen content in the soil and also soil water availability. It can cause changes to habitat structure through forming dense herbaceous layers and outcompeting native species for space. In California, it has been evaluated as an invasive plant but its impacts in wildlands are considered minor; it is primarily an agricultural weed (Cal-IPC, 2015).

              Impact on Biodiversity

              It is recognized as an environmental weed and can reduce the number of native species in natural plant communities through competition for space (Lapina and Carlson, 2013). Native bees may also find the flowers of V. villosa more attractive than native plants and so V. villosa may affect the pollination of native plant communities (Lapina and Carlson, 2013).

              V. villosa causes poisoning in mammals and can affect cattle, horses and poultry (Wiersema and León, 2013; CBIF, 2015). In mammals, symptoms include dermatitis, and mortality has been recorded in cattle and poultry. Occasionally, poisoning has occurred where V. villosa has been used as forage for livestock (CBIF, 2015). 

              Risk and Impact Factors

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              Invasiveness
              • Proved invasive outside its native range
              • Has a broad native range
              • Abundant in its native range
              • Highly adaptable to different environments
              • Is a habitat generalist
              • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
              Impact outcomes
              • Damaged ecosystem services
              • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
              • Modification of nutrient regime
              • Negatively impacts animal health
              • Reduced native biodiversity
              Impact mechanisms
              • Allelopathic
              • Competition - monopolizing resources
              • Competition - shading
              • Poisoning
              Likelihood of entry/control
              • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
              • Difficult to identify/detect in the field

              Uses

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              Economic Value

              V. villosa is an important species for forage production, with a high yield (Heuzé et al., 2014). It is widely cultivated as a fodder crop because of its high protein content and as it is a hardy plant which can withstand trampling. V. villosa is also used for erosion control through planting as ground cover, and as a cover crop to improve soil nitrogen content as a green manure (Ohwi, 1965; Owsley, 2011; Wiersema and León, 2013; Flora of Pakistan, 2015; Undersander et al., 2015).       

              Detection and Inspection Methods

              Some botanical expertise is needed to identify and distinguish V. villosa from similar species. Seed identification requires the expertise of a seed identification specialist and possibly germination tests. Useful keys may be found in Flora of China Editorial Committee (2015) and Tison et al. (2014)

              Uses List

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              Animal feed, fodder, forage

              • Fodder/animal feed
              • Forage

              Environmental

              • Commercial pollinator
              • Erosion control or dune stabilization
              • Soil improvement

              Materials

              • Green manure

              Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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              V. villosa closely resembles V. cracca but V. cracca has a smooth stem and the limb of the standard is longer than the claw (Tison et al., 2014).

              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.

              Mechanical Control

              Hand pulling small stands before they seed can reduce the threat to native plants (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2015). Several treatments of a combination of mowing and herbicides should eliminate persistent stands of V. villosa (Owsley, 2011).

              Chemical Control

              Clopyralid and other selective herbicides can be used to control V. villosa (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2015).

              References

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              Atlas of Living Australia, 2015. Atlas of Living Australia. http://bie.ala.org.au/

              Biological Records Centre, 2015. Online atlas of the British and Irish flora. Wallingford, UK: Biological Records Centre. http://www.brc.ac.uk/plantatlas/

              Bridwell JC; Bottimer LJ, 1933. The hairy-vetch bruchid, Bruchus brachialis Fahraeus, in the United States. Journal of Agricultural Research, 46:739-51.

              Calflora, 2016. Information on California plants for education, research, and conservation. Berkeley, California, USA: Calflora Database. http://www.calflora.org

              Cal-IPC (California Invasive Plant Council), 2015. California Invasive Plants Council. Berkeley, California, USA: California Invasive Plant Council. http://www.cal-ipc.org/

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              Links to Websites

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              WebsiteURLComment
              Feedipedia.orghttp://www.feedipedia.org/node/238
              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.
              ILDIS World database of legumeshttp://www.ildis.org
              USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service - Vicia villosahttp://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_vivi.pdf

              Contributors

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              07/04/15: Original text by:

              Javier Peralta de Andrés, Herbarium UPNA, Dpto. de Ciencias del Medio Natural, Universidad Pública de Navarra, Spain

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