Invasive Species Compendium

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Datasheet

Polypogon monspeliensis
(annual beard grass)

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Datasheet

Polypogon monspeliensis (annual beard grass)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 24 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Polypogon monspeliensis
  • Preferred Common Name
  • annual beard grass
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Monocotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Polypogon monspeliensis is a grass that is native to parts of Europe, Asia and northern Africa, and has been introduced to North and South America, some countries in Africa, Australia, New Zealand and a number of islands. It is considered...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Polypogon monspeliensis (annual beard grass) plant with flower heads
TitleHabit
CaptionPolypogon monspeliensis (annual beard grass) plant with flower heads
Copyright©Trevor James
Polypogon monspeliensis (annual beard grass) plant with flower heads
HabitPolypogon monspeliensis (annual beard grass) plant with flower heads©Trevor James
Polypogon monspeliensis (annual beard grass) close-up of flower heads
TitleFlower heads
CaptionPolypogon monspeliensis (annual beard grass) close-up of flower heads
Copyright©Trevor James
Polypogon monspeliensis (annual beard grass) close-up of flower heads
Flower headsPolypogon monspeliensis (annual beard grass) close-up of flower heads©Trevor James
Polypogon monspeliensis (annual beard grass); habit, showing back-lit inflorescences and seedheads. Nr runway overrun on Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii. USA. March 2015.
TitleHabit
CaptionPolypogon monspeliensis (annual beard grass); habit, showing back-lit inflorescences and seedheads. Nr runway overrun on Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii. USA. March 2015.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2015 - CC BY 4.0
Polypogon monspeliensis (annual beard grass); habit, showing back-lit inflorescences and seedheads. Nr runway overrun on Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii. USA. March 2015.
HabitPolypogon monspeliensis (annual beard grass); habit, showing back-lit inflorescences and seedheads. Nr runway overrun on Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii. USA. March 2015.©Forest & Kim Starr-2015 - CC BY 4.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Polypogon monspeliensis (L.) Desf. (1798)

Preferred Common Name

  • annual beard grass

Other Scientific Names

  • Agrostis alopecuroides Lam.
  • Agrostis crinita (Schreb.) Moench
  • Alopecurus aristatus var. monspeliensis (L.) Huds.
  • Alopecurus monspeliensis L. (1753)
  • Phalaris aristata Gouan ex P. Beauv.
  • Phalaris crinita Forssk.
  • Phalaris cristata Forssk
  • Phleum crinitum Schreb
  • Phleum monospliense (L.) Koeler
  • Polypogon crinitus (Schreb.) Nutt
  • Polypogon flavescens J. Presl
  • Polypogon monspeliensis f. argentinus Hack.
  • Polypogon monspeliensis f. nana Stuck.
  • Santia monspeliensis (L.) Parl.

International Common Names

  • English: Montpelier beardgrass
  • Spanish: pajilla; rabo de zorro
  • French: polypogon de Montpellier
  • Chinese: Chang mang bang tou cao
  • Portuguese: rabo-de-zorra-macio

Local Common Names

  • Australia: beard grass
  • India: Lomar ghas
  • USA: annual rabbitsfoot grass; beard grass; rabbitfoot beardgrass; rabbitfoot polypogon; rabbitfoot polypogon; rabbitfootgrass; rabbitsfoot grass; rabbit'sfootgrass; tawny beardgrass

Summary of Invasiveness

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Polypogon monspeliensis is a grass that is native to parts of Europe, Asia and northern Africa, and has been introduced to North and South America, some countries in Africa, Australia, New Zealand and a number of islands. It is considered invasive in parts of its introduced range, such as Australia and the western USA, because it can form dense swards that crowd out native plants and prevent their regeneration (Weber, 2003). It is one of several grasses that invade other vegetation (introduced and native) along waterways, roadsides, grassland, etc., and which displace other species to a greater or lesser extent. It can be an agricultural weed, for example in India where it is considered important.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Monocotyledonae
  •                     Order: Cyperales
  •                         Family: Poaceae
  •                             Genus: Polypogon
  •                                 Species: Polypogon monspeliensis

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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This species was named Alopecurus monspeliensis by Linnaeus in 1753 but given its current name, Polypogon monspeliensis, a few years later. A number of other synonuyms have been applied but none are in current use. The specific name derives from Montpellier in France, which is presumably where it was first collected.

Description

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This description of P. monspeliensis is from Clayton et al. (2012):

HABIT: Annual; culms solitary, or caespitose. Culms erect, or decumbent; 6–80 cm long. Ligule an eciliate membrane; 3–15 mm long. Leaf-blades 5–20 cm long; 2–8 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface scaberulous; rough adaxially, or on both sides.

INFLORESCENCE: Inflorescence a panicle.

Panicle spiciform; oblong, or ovate; continuous, or interrupted; 1.5–16 cm long; 1–3.5 cm wide. Panicle branches scabrous.

Spikelets solitary. Fertile spikelets pedicelled. Pedicels linear; 0.5 mm long; scabrous.

FERTILE SPIKELETS: Spikelets comprising 1 fertile floret; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets oblong; laterally compressed; 2–3 mm long; falling entire. Spikelet callus square; base obtuse.

GLUMES: Glumes similar; exceeding apex of florets; firmer than fertile lemma. Lower glume oblong; 1 length of upper glume; membranous; 1-keeled; keeled above; 1 -veined. Lower glume primary vein scabrous. Lower glume lateral veins absent. Lower glume surface asperulous. Lower glume margins ciliolate. Lower glume apex emarginate; awned; 1 -awned. Lower glume awn 4–7 mm long. Upper glume oblong; 2 length of adjacent fertile lemma; membranous; 1-keeled; keeled above; 1 -veined. Upper glume primary vein scabrous. Upper glume lateral veins absent. Upper glume surface asperulous. Upper glume margins ciliolate. Upper glume apex emarginate; awned; 1 -awned. Upper glume awn 4–7 mm long.

FLORETS: Fertile lemma oblong; 1–1.5 mm long; hyaline; without keel; 5 -veined. Lemma lateral veins obscure. Lemma apex dentate; 4 -fid; muticous, or awned; 1 -awned. Principal lemma awn from a sinus; 0–2 mm long overall. Palea 1 length of lemma; hyaline; 2 -veined.

FLOWER: Anthers 3; 0.3–0.5 mm long.

FRUIT: Caryopsis with adherent pericarp; obovoid. Hilum linear.

Plant Type

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Annual
Grass / sedge
Herbaceous
Seed propagated

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

Africa

AlgeriaPresentNative
BotswanaPresentIntroduced
EgyptPresentNative
KenyaPresentNativeOriginal citation: CLAYTON (1970)
LibyaPresentNative
MauritiusPresentIntroduced
-RodriguesPresentIntroduced
MoroccoPresentNative
NamibiaPresentIntroduced
RéunionPresentIntroduced
SomaliaPresentNative
South AfricaPresentIntroduced
TanzaniaPresentNativeOriginal citation: CLAYTON (1970)

Asia

AfghanistanPresentNative
ArmeniaPresentNative
AzerbaijanPresentNative
ChinaPresent
-AnhuiPresent
-FujianPresent
-GansuPresent
-GuangdongPresent
-HebeiPresent
-HenanPresent
-Inner MongoliaPresent
-JiangsuPresent
-NingxiaPresent
-QinghaiPresent
-ShaanxiPresent
-ShandongPresent
-ShanxiPresent
-SichuanPresent
-TibetPresent
-XinjiangPresent
-YunnanPresent
-ZhejiangPresent
GeorgiaPresentNative
IndiaPresentNative
-BiharPresentNative
-GujaratPresentNative
-Himachal PradeshPresentNative
-Jammu and KashmirPresentNative
-KarnatakaPresentNative
-Madhya PradeshPresentNative
-MaharashtraPresentNative
-ManipurPresentNative
-MeghalayaPresentNative
-SikkimPresentNative
-Tamil NaduPresentNative
-Uttar PradeshPresentNative
-West BengalPresentNative
IranPresentNative
IraqPresentNative
IsraelPresentNative
JapanPresentNative
-HonshuPresentNative
-KyushuPresentNative
-ShikokuPresentNative
JordanPresentNative
KazakhstanPresentNative
KyrgyzstanPresentNative
NepalPresentNative
PakistanPresentNativeInvasiveSindh, Balochistan, Punjab, N.W.F.P., Gilgit & Kashmir
Saudi ArabiaPresent
Sri LankaPresentNative
TaiwanPresent, Few occurrencesIntroducedOriginal citation: eFloras (2012b)
TajikistanPresentNative
TurkeyPresentNative
TurkmenistanPresentNative
UzbekistanPresentNative

Europe

AlbaniaPresentNative
BelgiumPresent, Few occurrencesIntroduced
BulgariaPresentNative
CyprusPresentNative
Federal Republic of YugoslaviaPresentNative
FrancePresentNative
-CorsicaPresentNativeOriginal citation: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (2012)
GreecePresentNative
ItalyPresentNative
NetherlandsPresent, Few occurrencesIntroduced
PortugalPresentNative
-AzoresPresentNative
-MadeiraPresentNative
RomaniaPresentNative
RussiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Southern RussiaPresentNative
Serbia and MontenegroPresentNative
SpainPresentNative
-Balearic IslandsPresentNativeOriginal citation: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (2012)
-Canary IslandsPresentNative
UkrainePresentNative
United KingdomPresentNativeRather uncommon generally

North America

CanadaPresentIntroduced
-AlbertaPresentIntroduced
-British ColumbiaPresentIntroduced
-ManitobaPresentIntroduced
-OntarioPresentIntroduced
-QuebecPresentIntroduced
-SaskatchewanPresentIntroduced
-YukonPresentIntroduced
Costa RicaPresentIntroduced
GuatemalaPresentIntroduced
MexicoPresentIntroduced
United StatesPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AlabamaPresentIntroduced
-AlaskaPresentIntroduced
-ArizonaPresentIntroduced
-ArkansasPresentIntroduced
-CaliforniaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-ColoradoPresentIntroduced
-ConnecticutPresentIntroduced
-DelawarePresentIntroduced
-FloridaPresentIntroducedInvasiveOccasional in Northern Florida
-GeorgiaPresentIntroduced
-HawaiiPresentIntroducedInvasive
-IdahoPresentIntroduced
-KansasPresentIntroduced
-LouisianaPresentIntroduced
-MainePresentIntroduced
-MarylandPresentIntroduced
-MassachusettsPresentIntroduced
-MichiganPresentIntroduced
-MinnesotaPresentIntroduced
-MississippiPresentIntroduced
-MontanaPresentIntroduced
-NebraskaPresentIntroduced
-NevadaPresentIntroduced
-New HampshirePresentIntroduced
-New JerseyPresentIntroduced
-New MexicoPresentIntroduced
-New YorkPresentIntroduced
-North CarolinaPresentIntroduced
-North DakotaPresentIntroduced
-OklahomaPresentIntroduced
-OregonPresentIntroduced
-PennsylvaniaPresentIntroduced
-South CarolinaPresentIntroduced
-South DakotaPresentIntroduced
-TennesseePresentIntroduced
-TexasPresentIntroduced
-UtahPresentIntroduced
-VirginiaPresentIntroduced
-WashingtonPresentIntroduced
-WisconsinPresentIntroduced
-WyomingPresentIntroduced

Oceania

AustraliaPresentIntroduced
-New South WalesPresentIntroduced
-Northern TerritoryPresent, Few occurrencesIntroduced
-QueenslandPresentIntroduced
-South AustraliaPresentIntroduced
-TasmaniaPresentIntroduced
-VictoriaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-Western AustraliaPresentIntroducedInvasive
New ZealandPresentIntroducedInvasive
Papua New GuineaPresentIntroducedInvasive
U.S. Minor Outlying IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasiveMidway Atoll

South America

ArgentinaPresentIntroduced
BoliviaPresentIntroducedOriginal citation: eFloras (2012a)
BrazilPresentIntroduced
ChilePresentIntroduced
EcuadorPresentIntroduced
ParaguayPresentIntroduced
PeruPresentIntroduced
UruguayPresentIntroduced

History of Introduction and Spread

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Polypogon monspeliensis is native to parts of Europe, Asia and northern Africa; it was probably carried to the United States, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere by colonists from Europe as a contaminant of hay, straw bedding, packing materials, agricultural seed, etc., although it may sometimes have been deliberately carried as seed for planting as an ornamental species (Hubbard, 1984).

It was introduced into California by 1848 (Frenke, 1977in Burgess et al., 1991). It was present in Arizona by 1891 (Toumey in Burgess et al., 1991). The first collection of P. monspeliensis was made at the Desert Laboratory in Tucson, Arizona in 1978 (Turner and Goldberg, in Burgess et al., 1991), and it is described as being local and occasional on moist sites (Burgess et al., 1991) (Guertin, 2003).

In New Zealand Thomson (1922) reported that it was first recorded by Kirk in 1877 and that in 1882 Cheeseman reported it from muddy places on the shores of the Manukau and Waitemata harbours, increasing rapidly. Cheeseman (1906) reported it as abundant in that year on roadsides and in waste places in both islands. In Australia, it was first recorded in ‘North Australia’ in 1802, in Tasmania in 1844 (Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2012), and in South Australia in 1851 (Jessop et al., 2006).

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Arizona 1891 Hitchhiker (pathway cause) Yes Guertin (2003)
California 1848 Hitchhiker (pathway cause) Yes Guertin (2003)
New Zealand 1877 Hitchhiker (pathway cause) Yes THOMSON (1922) Wellington
South Australia 1851 Hitchhiker (pathway cause) Yes Jessop et al. (2006)

Risk of Introduction

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P. monspeliensis already occurs in many countries but could possibly spread still further in some.

Habitat

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In most places, P. monspeliensis tends to prefer wet or damp areas, often close to creeks or streams, especially close to the coast, where it is tolerant of brackish water.

In Britain, the species is describes as a lowland annual of fairly bare places by the sea, in damp, cattle-trodden grazing marshes, at the edges of dried-up brackish pools and ditches, and in the uppermost parts of saltmarshes. It also occurs around docks and inland as a casual from wool, bird-seed and other sources (Biological Records Centre, 2012). Hubbard (1984) described its occurrence as ‘Rather uncommon generally, though sometimes locally abundant, especially on the bare edges of pools, gullies and ditches in maritime grasslands.’

On the North American continent P. monspeliensis occurs around seeps and springs, in salt marshes, around lakes and ponds, streams, saline waste areas and irrigation ditches, and in damp pastures (Darke and Griffiths 1994, Whitson et al. 1992, both in Burgess et al., 1991). It is frequent on moist soil throughout most of Arizona, occurring in river bottoms, swales, streams, and mountain canyons, at elevations of 100- 8200 ft. (30-2500 m) (Parker, 1972, in Guertin, 2003). It also can be present in irrigated sites, cultivated fields, pastures, ditches, and roadsides (Parker, 1972, in Guertin, 2003). In Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, it can become locally common to abundant in low wet places and waterholes, and along washes during exceptionally wet springs (Felger 1990 in Burgess et al., 1991)

In Australia, the species occurs in disturbed and often damp places, including around brackish water (Jessop et al., 2006).

As noted above, the species appears to be tolerant of brackish water. During trials testing growth of marsh plant species at different levels of salinity (0, 0.25, 0.5, 1.5, 3.5, and 5.0% NaCl), Partridge and Wilson (1987) found that P. monspeliensis displayed a need of 0.5% salinity to attain maximum growth. A range between 0.5-2.0% salinity included the highest rate of growth, although 2.0% salinity was suitable for plants to reach half maximum growth, and the death of most plants occurred at 3.25% salinity. Kuhn (1997), however, noted that P. monspeliensis plants displayed a sharp decline in growth when salinities were greater than 0 g/litre sea salt.

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Terrestrial ManagedManaged grasslands (grazing systems) Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedManaged grasslands (grazing systems) Principal habitat Natural
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Principal habitat Natural
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Terrestrial ManagedUrban / peri-urban areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Principal habitat Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalWetlands Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalWetlands Principal habitat Natural
LittoralCoastal areas Principal habitat Natural
FreshwaterIrrigation channels Principal habitat Natural
BrackishEstuaries Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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In places where P. monspeliensis occurs, it is often one of a range of grassland species, although it can form fairly pure swards at times. However, it is regarded as being a special threat to some native species in both Australia and the United States.

Jessop et al. (2006) say that, in Australia, it may threaten native herbs. A fact sheet on the species (Queensland Government, 2012) states that in Victoria, it is seen as a serious threat to one or more vegetation formations, and to the endangered turnip copperburr (Sclerolaena napiformis).

On the sites of vernal pools in the Central Valley of California, USA, P. monspeliensis is named as one of several species threatening several plants considered for 'endangered' or 'threatened' status, specifically Orcuttia inaequalis, Orcuttia pilosa, and Tuctoria greenei (Federal Register 1997, reported in Guertin, 2003).

P. monspeliensis occurs as a minor weed of wheat in Pakistan (Ashiq et al., 2006); it has been recorded as a dominant grass species in wheat in Egypt (Tagour, 2011), and in India, it is regarded as one of several predominant weeds (KrishiSewa.com, 2012).

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContextReferences
Triticum aestivum (wheat)PoaceaeOther

    Growth Stages

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    Vegetative growing stage

    Biology and Ecology

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    Genetics

    According to Barkworth (2007), 2n = 14, 28, 35, 42, although elsewhere it is often reported as 2n = 28 or 35.

    In Europe, P. monspeliensis hybridizes with Agrostis stolonifera, producing the sterile × Agropogon lutosus, and with P. viridis, forming P. × adscendens Guss. ex Bertol. (Barkworth, 2007).

    Reproductive Biology

    P. monspeliensis is an annual, C3 graminoid, reproducing by seed (Guertin, 2003). The flowers are hermaphrodite (with both male and female organs) and are pollinated by wind. The seeds can adhere to wool and skin of animals (Ridley, 1930). Carr et al. (1992) also suggested that seed may be spread by animals (attached externally or, possibly, through the gut), water or wind. The species produces over 100 seeds per plant and the seeds remain viable in the soil for 1 to 5 years (NatureServe, 2012).

    Physiology and Phenology

    Souza et al. (1999) found that rhizosphere bacteria aid in the ability of P. monspeliensis to accumulate selenium (Se) and mercury (Hg) from aquatic systems into its roots and shoots.

    Associations

    No associations are specifically reported for P. monspeliensis, although it co-exists with several other grasses and other species that grow in similar environments.

    Environmental Requirements

    In North America, and elsewhere, P. monspeliensis commonly grows in damp to wet, often alkaline soils, particularly in disturbed areas and often near waterways (Barkworth, 2007). As noted in the ‘Notes on Habitat’ section, it can tolerate some salinity, and occurs in brackish water.

    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)

    Notes on Natural Enemies

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    P. monspeliensis is a grass which appears to be palatable to livestock and is therefore grazed by sheep, cattle and other mammals when they have access to it. It is also, presumably, affected by locally active insect pests wherever it grows. There is no available information on any natural enemies that specifically feed on this species.

    Means of Movement and Dispersal

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    Natural Dispersal (Non-Biotic)

    Seeds of P. monspeliensis can be spread by wind or water (Carr et al., 1992).

    Vector Transmission (Biotic)

    The seeds can also be spread by animals (attached externally or, possibly, through the gut) (Carr et al., 1992).

    Accidental Introduction

    Since it occurs among other grass species, the species has probably been spread as a contaminant in hay or straw (whether used as animal feed or bedding), in grass seed, etc.

    Intentional introduction

    Use of the species as an ornamental (Hubbard, 1984) may have contributed to its spread.

    Pathway Causes

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    CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
    Escape from confinement or garden escapeOccasional garden escape Yes Hubbard (1984)
    ForageAs contaminant in hay, straw or packing material Yes Yes
    HitchhikerAs contaminant in hay, straw or packing material Yes Yes

    Pathway Vectors

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    VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
    Containers and packaging - non-wood Yes
    Containers and packaging - wood Yes
    Floating vegetation and debris Yes
    Livestock Yes Yes
    Mulch, straw, baskets and sod Yes
    Plants or parts of plantsAs a contaminant in hay, straw, grass seed, etc. Yes Yes
    Water Yes
    Wind Yes

    Plant Trade

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    Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
    True seeds (inc. grain) seeds Yes

    Wood Packaging

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    Wood Packaging liable to carry the pest in trade/transportTimber typeUsed as packing
    Loose wood packing material No

    Impact Summary

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    CategoryImpact
    Environment (generally) Negative

    Economic Impact

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    McKay et al. (1993) found that P. monspeliensis can poison livestock in Australia when the seed head is infested with Anguina agrostis nematodes carrying Clavibacter toxicus [Rathayibacter toxicus] producing corynetoxins. These cause incoordination, tremor, convulsions, and sudden death; this is called Stewart Range syndrome or flood plain staggers. However, the disease is mostly caused by infected Lolium rigidum (Riley et al., 2010), which is much more common than P. monspeliensis in Australia.

    P. monspeliensis occurs as a minor weed of wheat in Pakistan (Ashiq et al., 2006). It has been recorded as a dominant grass species in wheat in Egypt (Tagour, 2011). In India, it is regarded as one of several predominant weeds (KrishiSewa.com, 2012), and classified as a 'principal' weed by Holm et al. (1979).

    Environmental Impact

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    Inderjit and Dakshini (1995) demonstrated that allelopathic phenols of straw of P. monspeliensis inhibited root growth of radish and cluster bean, and also shoot growth of radish. They pointed out that this implies that P. monspeliensis does not affect crops (or other plants) growing with it, but only those growing in following seasons on a site where its dried biomass is present.

    Impact on Habitats

    According to the factsheet on P. monspeliensis in Weeds of Australia (Queensland Government, 2012), the species is regarded as a relatively important environmental weed in Victoria and Western Australia. While not widely regarded as a problem in other states, it commonly invades natural habitats in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

    In Victoria, it is seen as a serious threat to one or more vegetation formations (Queensland Government, 2012). For example, it is classified as a high threat weed species in grassy wetland and brackish wetland communities. It also appears on some local and regional environmental weed lists (e.g. in the Goulburn Broken Catchment and in the Mornington Peninsula Shire) and grows in many conservation areas in this state (e.g. in Morwell National Park, Barkindji Biosphere Reserve, Phillip Island Nature Park and Organ Pipes National Park).

    In Western Australia it grows in moist areas, along creeks and rivers, and in swamps (Queensland Government, 2012). It is a common weed of disturbed wetlands, both freshwater and brackish, from Kalbarri to Cape Arid, and was ranked as a moderate priority species in the Environmental Weed Strategy of Western Australia. It is particularly troublesome in brackish wetlands and saline areas along rivers in south-western Western Australia.

    Impact on Biodiversity

    P. monspeliensis is seen as a threat to the endangered turnip copperburr (Sclerolaena napiformis) in Victoria, Australia (Queensland Government, 2012).

    According to Guertin (1993), the  Federal Register (1997) points out that on sites of vernal pools in the Central Valley of California, USA, Polypogonmonspeliensis is named as one of several species threatening several plants considered for 'endangered' or 'threatened' status, specifically Orcuttia inaequalis, Orcuttia pilosa, and Tuctoria greenei.

    Threatened Species

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    Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
    Orcuttia inaequalisNational list(s)CaliforniaCompetitionGuertin (2003)
    Orcuttia pilosa (hairy Orcutt grass)NatureServe; USA ESA listing as endangered speciesCaliforniaCompetitionGuertin (2003)
    Sclerolaena napiformisNational list(s)VictoriaCompetitionQueensland Government (2012)
    Tuctoria greenei (Greene's tuctoria)National list(s); USA ESA listing as endangered speciesCaliforniaCompetitionGuertin (2003)

    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
    • Pioneering in disturbed areas
    • Fast growing
    • Has high reproductive potential
    • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
    Impact outcomes
    • Negatively impacts agriculture
    • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
    • Threat to/ loss of native species
    Impact mechanisms
    • Allelopathic
    • Causes allergic responses
    • Competition (unspecified)

    Uses

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    Economic value

    P. monspeliensis has apparently been used in cut flower arrangements and also as a garden ornamental. It is palatable to livestock and therefore grazed by sheep, cattle and other mammals when they have access to it.

    Social benefit

    Moerman (2012) indicates its usage among Native Americans to treat heart palpitations, as food or as a lotion to wash a snake figurine before painting it.

    Uses List

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    Animal feed, fodder, forage

    • Forage

    Environmental

    • Landscape improvement

    General

    • Botanical garden/zoo

    Detection and Inspection

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    P. monspeliensis is easy to detect when flowering; otherwise it is hard to distinguish from other grasses.

    Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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    The genus Polypogon is similar to Agrostis, and occasionally hybridizes with it. It differs from Agrostis in having spikelets that disarticulate below the glumes, often at the base of a stipe (Barkworth 2007).

    Among other species of Polypogon, P. strictus in South Africa is distinguished by its 3 awns per spikelet, much longer at up to 25 mm long., while in India, P. fugax differs in its much shorter awns, to 5 mm only. In southern Africa P. semiverticillatus has virtually no awns.

    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.

    Prevention

    Modern phytosanitary regulations for international trade ought to prevent further international spread of the species.

    Control

    Physical/mechanical control

    As with most other grasses, digging, pulling, or cultivation will give good control, depending on where the plants occur.

    Biological control

    No information on biological control has been found in the literature.

    Chemical control

    P. monspeliensis is probably effectively controlled by most grass-killing herbicides, including glyphosate, fluazifop, haloxyfop, etc.

    Tagour et al. (2011) reported improved control of P. monspeliensis in wheat with two different formulations of clodinafop with the addition of nonylphenol polyglycol ether) as an adjuvant.

    In India, KrishiSewa.com (2012) recommends pendimethalin as a pre-emergence treatment, sulfosulfuran, metribuzin or a mixture of these for the control of grass and broadleaf weeds, and clodinafop or fenoxaprop for control of grass weeds.

    Heap (2012) reports that in Israel P. monspeliensis first evolved resistance to Group C1/5 herbicides in 1979 and infests roadsides; these biotypes are resistant to triazines (atrazine and simazine).

    Guertin (2003) lists herbicides effective for control: propanil and metribuzin (Rice, 1992 in Guertin, 2003); chlorimuron -- effective against P monspeliensis in soyabean fields (Singh and Malik, 1993 in Guertin 2003); fluazifop -- observed to control P. monspeliensis in onion crops (Watkins and Hargrave, 1984 in Guertin, 2003); and oxyfluorfen.

    Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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    More information on the environmental and economic impacts of P. monspeliensis would be useful. Little is known of its agronomic value, whether it is a productive grass, how readily it is grazed, etc. Nor is anything known about its adverse effects on more valuable species in pastures or in other areas where it occurs.

    References

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    PIER, 2008. Polypogon monspeliensis: risk assessment results. http://www.hear.org/pier/wra/pacific/polypogon_monspeliensis_htmlwra

    PIER, 2012. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. Honolulu, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

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    Distribution References

    Alhaithloul H A A S, 2019. Prevalence study of weeds in some economic orchards trees. Asian Journal of Agriculture and Biology. 7 (4), 512-518. https://www.asianjab.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/4-AJAB-2019-05-226.pdf

    CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI

    CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI

    Danin A, 2012. Flora of Israel online., Jerusalem, Israel: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. http://flora.huji.ac.il/browse.asp

    Edgar E, Connor HE, 2000. Flora of New Zealand., V Lincoln, New Zealand: Manaaki Whenua Press. 650 pp.

    Fernandes A, Launert E, Wild H, 1971. Flora Zambesiaca. Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Rhodesia, Botswana. Volume ten: part one. London, UK: Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations. 152 + v pp.

    Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012. Flora of China Web., Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Herbaria. http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/

    Guertin P, 2003. Factsheet for: Polypogon monspeliensis (L.) Desf. (USGS Weeds in the West project: Status of Introduced Plants in Southern Arizona Parks)., Tucson, Arizona, USA: US Geological Survey / Southwest Biological Science Center. 23 pp. http://sdrsnet.srnr.arizona.edu/data/sdrs/ww/docs/polymons.pdf

    Hubbard CE, 1984. Grasses: A Guide to their Structure, Identification, Uses and Distribution in the British Isles., Harmondsworth, Middlesex, UK: Penguin Books Limited. 476 pp.

    Ibrahim I K A, Mokbel A A, Handoo Z A, 2010. Current status of phytoparasitic nematodes and their host plants in Egypt. Nematropica. 40 (2), 239-262. http://www.ontaweb.org/

    Jordá C, Lázaro Pérez A, Martínez-Culebras P V, Lacasa A, 2001. First report of pepino mosaic virus on natural hosts. Plant Disease. 85 (12), 1292.

    Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012. Flora of Pakistan., St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden. http://www.tropicos.org/projectwebportal.aspx?pagename=Home&projectid=32

    National Botanic Garden of Belgium, 2012. Manual of the Alien Plants of Belgium., http://alienplantsbelgium

    Noltie HJ, 2000. Flora of Bhutan., 3 (2) Edinburgh, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh.

    PIER, 2008. Polypogon monspeliensis: risk assessment results., http://www.hear.org/pier/wra/pacific/polypogon_monspeliensis_htmlwra

    PIER, 2012. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk., Honolulu, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

    Queensland Government, 2012. Weeds of Australia. Biosecurity Queensland Edition., Australia: The University of Queensland. http://keyserver.lucidcentral.org/weeds/

    Shukla U, 1996. The grasses of north-eastern India. Jodphur, India: Scientific Publishers. 404 pp.

    USDA-ARS, 2012. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx

    USDA-NRCS, 2012. The PLANTS Database. Greensboro, North Carolina, USA: National Plant Data Team. https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov

    Wagner WL, Herbst DR, Sohmer SH, 1999. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawaii, Revised ed., Honolulu, USA: University of Hawaii Press.

    Links to Websites

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    WebsiteURLComment
    Pier (Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk)http://www.hear.org/pier/species/polypogon_monspeliensis.htm

    Organizations

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    USA: USDA-ARS, 2012. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), 10300 Baltimore Blvd. Room 330, Bldg. 003, BARC-West Beltsville,, MD 20705, http://www.ars-grin.gov/

    Contributors

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    28/10/2012 Original text by:

    Ian Popay, consultant, New Zealand, with the support of Landcare Research.

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