Plant Assessment Form

Descurainia sophia

Synonyms: Arabis sophia, Sisymbrium sophia

Common Names: tansy mustard, flixweed

Evaluated on: 3/9/04

List committee review date: 19/03/2004

Re-evaluation date:

Evaluator(s)

Matt Brooks/Research Botanist
U.S. Geological Survey
160 N.Stephanie St., Henderson, NV 89074
702-564-4615
matt_brooks@usgs.gov

List commitee members

Carla Bossard
Joe DiTomaso
John Randall
Cynthia Roye
Jake Sigg
Alison Stanton
Peter Warner

General Comments

No general comments for this species

Table 2. Criteria, Section, and Overall Scores

Overall Score? Limited
Alert Status? No Alert
Documentation? 2 out of 5
Score Documentation
1.1 ?Impact on abiotic ecosystem processes C Observational
Impact?
Four-part score CCUU Total Score
C
1.2 ?Impact on plant community C. Minor Observational
1.3 ?Impact on higher trophic levels U. Unknown
1.4 ?Impact on genetic integrity U. Unknown
2.1 ?Role of anthropogenic and natural disturbance in establishment B. Moderate Observational
Invasiveness?
Total Points
12 Total Score B
2.2 ?Local rate of spread with no management C. Stable Observational
2.3 ?Recent trend in total area infested within state C. Stable Other Published Material
2.4 ?Innate reproductive potential
(see Worksheet A)
A. High Observational
2.5 ?Potential for human-caused dispersal A. High Observational
2.6 ? Potential for natural long-distance dispersal C. Rare Observational
2.7 ?Other regions invaded C. Already invaded Other Published Material
3.1 ?Ecological amplitude/Range
(see Worksheet C)
A. Widespread Other Published Material
Distribution?
Total Score B
3.2 ?Distribution/Peak frequency
(see Worksheet C)
C. Low Observational

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? C Observational
Identify ecosystem processes impacted:

C. Possibly fire regimes May increase fuel loads, but only where alien annual grasses have already altered the fire regime, so additional effect of this species may be only to slightly increase fire intensity.


Sources of information:

Matt Brooks personal observation


Question 1.2 Impact on plant community composition,
structure, and interactions?
C Observational
Identify type of impact or alteration:

B. May reduce biomass and fecundity of co-existing species, but does not seem to reach numbers that completely exclude other species. Focused on early successional stages, and often co-exists with cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum).


Sources of information:

Howard, J.L. 2003. Descurania sophia. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/.


Question 1.3 Impact on higher trophic levels? U
Identify type of impact or alteration:

U: Unknown There is some indication that the Oxalic acids in mustard eaten by Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) may have negative physiological effect, but this is only conjecture at this point.


Sources of information:

Kristin Berry, personal communication


Question 1.4 Impact on genetic integrity? U

U. But potential effects on the closely related native speceis, Descurania pinnata. Often coexists with the native congener.


Sources of information:

Matt Brooks personal observation.


Section 2: Invasiveness
Question 2.1 Role of anthropogenic and natural disturbance
in establishment?
C Observational
Describe role of disturbance:

B. Disturbance promotes dominance and spread. Early successional species, which may decline in dominance as native species re-establish, but likely varies among vegetation types. It may persist indefiniately in riparian areas with repeated natural disturbance.


Sources of information:

Matt Brooks personal observation


Question 2.2 Local rate of spread with no management? C Observational
Describe rate of spread:

C. Slow unless there is disturbance. occurs in habitat openings caused by nautural distubances, roads, urban developments, agricultural fields, etc.


Sources of information:

Matt Brooks personal observation


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

C. Probably constant It has beenaround since the 1800s, and was widespread in the intermountain region by 1920


Sources of information:

Pyke, David A. 2000. Invasive exotic plants in sagebrush ecosystems of the Intermountain West. In: Entwistle, P. G.; DeBolt, A. M.; Kaltenecker, J. H.; Steenhof, K., compilers. Sagebrush steppe ecosystems symposium: Proceedings; 1999 June 21-23; Boise, ID. Publ. No. BLM/ID/PT-001001+1150. Boise, ID: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Boise State Office: 43-44.


Question 2.4 Innate reproductive potential? A Observational
Describe key reproductive characteristics:

For seed production see Salisbury. E.J. 1961. Weeds and Aliens. Macmillan Co., New York. 330pp, otherwise, Matt Brooks personal observation


Sources of information:

A. High Mustard seeds are sticky when wet facilitating dispersal on vehicles and grow in hay fields where they may be dispersed along with the hay when it is sold


Question 2.5 Potential for human-caused dispersal? A Observational
Identify dispersal mechanisms:

A. High Mustard seeds are sticky when wet facilitating dispersal on vehicles and grow in hay fields where they may be dispersed along with the hay when it is sold


Sources of information:

Matt Brooks personal observation


Question 2.6 Potential for natural long-distance dispersal? C Observational
Identify dispersal mechanisms:

C. Low Likely dispersed by saltation or rodents.


Sources of information:

Matt Brooks personal observation


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

C. Unknown, but likely semi-arid to mesic ecosystems worldwide also found in similar ecosystems in South America, Asia, southern Africa, and New Zealand


Sources of information:

Howard, J.L. 2003. Descurania sophia. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/.


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

A. Widspread has invaded shrublands, grasslands, woodlands, and riparian areas


Sources of information:

Hickman, 1993. The Jepson Manual, Higher Plant of Calfifornia. U.C. Press. and Matt Brooks personal observation


Question 3.2 Distribution/Peak frequency? C Observational
Describe distribution:

C moderately abundant in coast scrub and Great Basin scrub


Sources of information:

Matt Brooks personal observation


Worksheet A - Innate reproductive potential

Reaches reproductive maturity in 2 years or less Yes
Dense infestations produce >1,000 viable seed per square meter Yes
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 Yes
Viable seed produced with both self-pollination and cross-pollination Unknown
Has quickly spreading vegetative structures (rhizomes, roots, etc.) that may root at nodes No
Fragments easily and fragments can become established elsewhere No
Resprouts readily when cut, grazed, or burned No
Total points: 6
Total unknowns: 1
Total score: A?

Related traits:

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
Dunescoastal
desert
interior
Scrub and Chaparralcoastal bluff scrubD, < 5%
coastal scrubC, 5% - 20%
Sonoran desert scrubD, < 5%
Mojavean desert scrub (incl. Joshua tree woodland)D, < 5%
Great Basin scrubC, 5% - 20%
chenopod scrubD, < 5%
montane dwarf scrub
Upper Sonoran subshrub scrubD, < 5%
chaparralD, < 5%
Grasslands, Vernal Pools, Meadows, and other Herb Communitiescoastal prairieD, < 5%
valley and foothill grasslandD, < 5%
Great Basin grasslandD, < 5%
vernal poolD, < 5%
meadow and seepD, < 5%
alkali playa
pebble plain
Bog and Marshbog and fen
marsh and swamp
Riparian and Bottomland habitatriparian forestD, < 5%
riparian woodlandD, < 5%
riparian scrub (incl.desert washes)D, < 5%
Woodlandcismontane woodlandD, < 5%
piñon and juniper woodlandD, < 5%
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): A
Distribution (highest score): C

Infested Jepson Regions

Click here for a map of Jepson regions

  • CA Floristic Province
  • Cascade Range
  • Central West
  • Great Valley
  • Northwest
  • Sierra Nevada
  • Southwest
  • Great Basin Province
  • Modoc Plateau
  • Sierra Nevada East
  • Desert Province
  • Mojave Desert
  • Sonoran Desert