Plant Assessment Form

Ammophila arenaria

Synonyms: Arundo arenaria

Common Names: European beachgrass

Evaluated on: 8/30/03

List committee review date: 24/11/2017

Re-evaluation date:

Evaluator(s)

Peter J. Warner
California Dept. of Parks and Recreation; CalEPPC
P. O. Box 603, Little River, CA 95456-0603
(707) 937-9172; (707) 937-2278
corylus@earthlink.net; pwarn@mcn.org; pwarn@parks.ca.gov

List commitee members

Matt Brooks
Peter Warner
Joe DiTomaso
Doug Johnson

General Comments

No general comments for this species

Table 2. Criteria, Section, and Overall Scores

Overall Score? High
Alert Status? No Alert
Documentation? 3 out of 5
Score Documentation
1.1 ?Impact on abiotic ecosystem processes A Reviewed Scientific Publication
Impact?
Four-part score AAAD Total Score
A
1.2 ?Impact on plant community A. Severe Reviewed Scientific Publication
1.3 ?Impact on higher trophic levels A. Severe Other Published Material
1.4 ?Impact on genetic integrity D. None Other Published Material
2.1 ?Role of anthropogenic and natural disturbance in establishment B. Moderate Other Published Material
Invasiveness?
Total Points
16 Total Score B
2.2 ?Local rate of spread with no management A. Increases rapidly Other Published Material
2.3 ?Recent trend in total area infested within state B. Increasing less rapidly Other Published Material
2.4 ?Innate reproductive potential
(see Worksheet A)
A. High Other Published Material
2.5 ?Potential for human-caused dispersal B. Moderate Other Published Material
2.6 ? Potential for natural long-distance dispersal A. Frequent Reviewed Scientific Publication
2.7 ?Other regions invaded C. Already invaded Other Published Material
3.1 ?Ecological amplitude/Range
(see Worksheet C)
D. Narrow Other Published Material
Distribution?
Total Score B
3.2 ?Distribution/Peak frequency
(see Worksheet C)
A. High Other Published Material

Table 3. Documentation

Scores are explained in the "Criteria for Categorizing Invasive Non-Native Plants that Threaten Wildlands".

Section 1: Impact
Question 1.1 Impact on abiotic ecosystem processes? A Reviewed Scientific Publication
Identify ecosystem processes impacted:

1. endophytic nitrogen fixation by plants resulting in increased ambient dune nitrogen levels; 2. disrupts aeolian formation of dunes resulting in altered dune geomorphology; 3. water availability; Published literature (other): 1. inference based on initial findings (Fusaro, S. 1997. Masters thesis) and formulated research hypothesis (Dalton, D., and M. Kahn) funded by National Science Foundation; 2. biology/ecology of beachgrass based on numerous studies on its rhizomatous growth, summarized in The Nature Conservancy element stewardship abstract and elsewhere;


Sources of information:

1. press release from Reed College (http://administration.reed.edu/news/news/taf?ID=123); 2. Danin, A., S. Rai, M. Barbour, N. Jurjavcic, P. Connors, and E. Uhlinger. 1998. Early primary succession on dunes at Bodega Head, California. Madro_o 45(2):101-109. 3. The Nature Conservancy (http://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/esadocs/documnts/ammoare.html); 4. National Park Service website (http://www.nps.gov/redw/beach-gr.htm); 5. Nikon website (http://www.microscopyu.com/galleries/confocal/beachgrass.htm); 6. Van Der Stoel, C. D., W. H. Van Der Putten, and H. Duyts. 2002. Development of a negative plant-soil feedback in the expansion zone of the clonal grass following root formation and nematode colonization. Journal of Ecology 90: 978-988.


Question 1.2 Impact on plant community composition,
structure, and interactions?
A Reviewed Scientific Publication
Identify type of impact or alteration:

displacement of many native species, including rare, endangered, threatened, and significant changes in composition of native dune mat and dune scrub communities published information based on recorded data


Sources of information:

Question 1.3 Impact on higher trophic levels? A Other Published Material
Identify type of impact or alteration:

displacement of habitat for nesting and breeding of western snowy plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus); reduced arthropod diversity published literature


Sources of information:

Question 1.4 Impact on genetic integrity? D Other Published Material

None known no closely related plant taxa in California


Sources of information:

Hickman, J. C. 1993. The Jepson Manual. University of California Press, Berkeley.


Section 2: Invasiveness
Question 2.1 Role of anthropogenic and natural disturbance
in establishment?
A Other Published Material
Describe role of disturbance:

sand accretion is essential to Ammophila growth; since human introduction to many dune systems, Ammophila has spread to many areas in active dune systems without human-caused disturbance, but does not survive well in stable sand dunes. published literature (other)


Sources of information:

Question 2.2 Local rate of spread with no management? A Other Published Material
Describe rate of spread:

increasing steadily, mostly due to continued growth of rhizomes and dune-building; some seed-germination has been documented in N. California. published literature (other)


Sources of information:

Pickart, AJ, and JO Sawyer. 1998. Ecology and Restoration of Northern California Coastal Dunes. The California Native Plant Society, Sacramento, CA. P. 45
Bencie, R. 1990. Investigation of seedling emergence and seed bank of Ammophila arenaria (unpublished). The Nature Conservancy, Arcata, CA


Question 2.3 Recent trend in total area infested within state? B Other Published Material
Describe trend:

most dunes already invaded, and some sites have been successfully eradicated, although complete eradication is probably a long-term process; overall trend is probably close to stable published literature (other)


Sources of information:

Pickart, AJ, and JO Sawyer. 1998. Ecology and Restoration of Northern California Coastal Dunes. The California Native Plant Society, Sacramento, CA. Pp. 44-46.


Question 2.4 Innate reproductive potential? A Other Published Material
Describe key reproductive characteristics:

rhizomes particularly effective in within-patch increase, and withstand saltwater immersion, allowing spread to new sites; species can also spread by seed peer-reviewed research; published literature (other)


Sources of information:

Pickart, AJ, and JO Sawyer. 1998. Ecology and Restoration of Northern California Coastal Dunes. The California Native Plant Society, Sacramento, CA. Pp. 44-46.
Baye, PR 1990. Comparative growth responses and population ecology of European and American beachgrass (Ammophila spp.) in relation to sand accretion and salinity. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.
Bencie, R. 1990. Investigation of seedling emergence and seed bank of Ammophila arenaria (unpublished). The Nature Conservancy, Arcata, CA
Huiskes, AHL. 1977. The natural establishment of Ammophila arenaria from seed. Oikos 29:133-136.


Question 2.5 Potential for human-caused dispersal? B Other Published Material
Identify dispersal mechanisms:

introduction as a dune-stabilizing plan published literature (other)


Sources of information:

Question 2.6 Potential for natural long-distance dispersal? A Reviewed Scientific Publication
Identify dispersal mechanisms:

vegetative (rhizomatous growth or transport of rhizomes by sea water); seed (wind) published literature; published literature (other)


Sources of information:

Question 2.7 Other regions invaded? C Other Published Material
Identify other regions:

North American west coast (San Diego Co. to British Columbia, Canada); Australia, New Zealand; present but not reported as invasive in South Africa published literature (other)


Sources of information:

Pickart, AJ, and JO Sawyer. 1998. Ecology and Restoration of Northern California Coastal Dunes. The California Native Plant Society, Sacramento, CA. Pp. 44-46.


Section 3: Distribution
Question 3.1 Ecological amplitude/Range? D Other Published Material

restricted to coastal strand and dunes, central and northern California (and further north); introduced to California in late 1800s published literature (other); based on observations and species biology


Sources of information:

Pickart, AJ. 1997. Control of European beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria) on the west coast of the United States. In Kelly, M., E. Wagner, and P. Warner. Proceedings: California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium (3)
Lamson-Scribner, F. 1895. Grasses as soil and soil binders. In Yearbook: U. S. Department of Agriculture 1894. U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C.


Question 3.2 Distribution/Peak frequency? A Other Published Material
Describe distribution:

essentially planted in or established in all dune systems from Santa Barbara northward published literature (other)


Sources of information:

Pickart, AJ. 1997. Control of European beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria) on the west coast of the United States. In Kelly, M., E. Wagner, and P. Warner. Proceedings: California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium (3)


Worksheet A - Innate reproductive potential

Reaches reproductive maturity in 2 years or less No
Dense infestations produce >1,000 viable seed per square meter No
Populations of this species produce seeds every year. Yes
Seed production sustained over 3 or more months within a population annually No
Seeds remain viable in soil for three or more years No
Viable seed produced with both self-pollination and cross-pollination No
Has quickly spreading vegetative structures (rhizomes, roots, etc.) that may root at nodes Yes
Fragments easily and fragments can become established elsewhere Yes
Resprouts readily when cut, grazed, or burned Yes
Total points: 5
Total unknowns: 0
Total score: B?

Related traits:

enter text hererhizomes rely on sand accretion for growth and spread

Worksheet B - Arizona Ecological Types is not included here

Worksheet C - California Ecological Types

(sensu Holland 1986)
Major Ecological Types Minor Ecological Types Code?
Marine Systemsmarine systems
Freshwater and Estuarine lakes, ponds, reservoirs
Aquatic Systemsrivers, streams, canals
estuaries
DunescoastalA, > 50%
desert
interior
Scrub and Chaparralcoastal bluff scrub
coastal scrub
Sonoran desert scrub
Mojavean desert scrub (incl. Joshua tree woodland)
Great Basin scrub
chenopod scrub
montane dwarf scrub
Upper Sonoran subshrub scrub
chaparral
Grasslands, Vernal Pools, Meadows, and other Herb Communitiescoastal prairie
valley and foothill grassland
Great Basin grassland
vernal pool
meadow and seep
alkali playa
pebble plain
Bog and Marshbog and fen
marsh and swamp
Riparian and Bottomland habitatriparian forest
riparian woodland
riparian scrub (incl.desert washes)
Woodlandcismontane woodland
piñon and juniper woodland
Sonoran thorn woodland
Forestbroadleaved upland forest
North Coast coniferous forest
closed cone coniferous forest
lower montane coniferous forest
upper montane coniferous forest
subalpine coniferous forest
Alpine Habitatsalpine boulder and rock field
alpine dwarf scrub
Amplitude (breadth): D
Distribution (highest score): A

Infested Jepson Regions

Click here for a map of Jepson regions

  • Central West
  • Northwest
  • Southwest