Plant Assessment Form

Ehrharta calycina

Synonyms: Aira capensis L.f., Ehrharta ascendens Schrad, E. auriculata Steud., E. geniculata (Thunb) Thunb., E. laxiflora Schrad., R. ovata Nees, E. paniculataSw.ex Poir, E. undulata Nees ex Trin., Melica festucoides Licht ex Trin., Melica geniculata Thunb., Trochera calycina (Sm. P. Beauv,)

Common Names: purple veldtgrass; African veldtgrass; perennial Veldt grass

Evaluated on: 8/16/04

List committee review date: 27/08/2004

Re-evaluation date:

Evaluator(s)

Cynthia L. Roye, Associate State Park Resource Ecologist
Natural Resources Division, California State Parks
P.O. Box 942896, Sacramtnto, CA 94296-0001
(916) 653-9083
croye@parks.ca.gov

List commitee members

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

General Comments

This plant constitutes a serious weed that is hard to control. As of 2004 it is primarily found in coastal southern California although populations do occur in Sonoma County.

Table 2. Criteria, Section, and Overall Scores

Overall Score? High
Alert Status? No Alert
Documentation? 3.5 out of 5
Score Documentation
1.1 ?Impact on abiotic ecosystem processes A Reviewed Scientific Publication
Impact?
Four-part score AABD Total Score
A
1.2 ?Impact on plant community A. Severe Other Published Material
1.3 ?Impact on higher trophic levels B. Moderate Reviewed Scientific Publication
1.4 ?Impact on genetic integrity D. None Reviewed Scientific Publication
2.1 ?Role of anthropogenic and natural disturbance in establishment A. Severe Reviewed Scientific Publication
Invasiveness?
Total Points
17 Total Score A
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 A. Increasing rapidly Reviewed Scientific Publication
2.4 ?Innate reproductive potential
(see Worksheet A)
A. High Reviewed Scientific Publication
2.5 ?Potential for human-caused dispersal B. Moderate Other Published Material
2.6 ? Potential for natural long-distance dispersal B. Occasional Other Published Material
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 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:

Alters fire cycle.enter text here


Sources of information:

Pickart, A.J. in Bossard et al., eds. 2000. Invasive plants of California's wildlands. Univ. of CA Press;


Question 1.2 Impact on plant community composition,
structure, and interactions?
A Other Published Material
Identify type of impact or alteration:

"Displaces natives at an alarming rate" per TNC Weed Report. Can inhibit the return of native vegetation, become a dominant, sometimes growing in pure stands, and maintain dominance indefinitely. Frequent fires may lead to type conversion and may threatern rare endemics sauch as Arctostaqphylos morroensis.


Sources of information:

Odion, D.and C. Tyler. 2002. Are long fire-free periods needed to maintain the endangered, fire-recruiting shrub Arctostaphylos morroensisn(Ericaceae). Conservation Ecology 6 (2):4 as accessed online @:http://www.consecol.org/vol6/iss2/art4; Smith, Trish and Smith, Kara Woodruff, 1998-99 Weed Survey, The Nature Conservancy, Guadalupe-Nipomo and Lanphere Preserves; Unknown. 1996. Veldtgrass and beachgrass control. Final Report of the Successful Creation of Wetlands and Restoration of Uplands at San Antonio Terrace Vandenberg AFB, California. Pgs 2-91 - 2-96; Holland, V.L. date unknown. The El Moro Elfin Forest, Introduction as accessed 10/8/03 at: http://biosci.calpoly.edu/biosci/faculty/holland/ELFIN.html.


Question 1.3 Impact on higher trophic levels? B Reviewed Scientific Publication
Identify type of impact or alteration:

Is a highly palatable pasture grass. May alter the substrate or limit the arthropod food base for California legless lizard, a Species of Special Concern; loss of bare sand eliminates habitat for the Western snowy plover, the Morro Bay kangaroo rat, and Morro Bay banded dune snail; Food host to butterfly larvae of several families where introduced in Australia.


Sources of information:

Magness, J. R. et al 1971. Food and feed crops of the United States. Interregion Research Project IR-4, IR Bul. 1 (Bul. 828 New Jersey Agr. Expt. Sta.)as cited by Hoare, D.B. Ehrharta calycina accessed 5/5/04 at: http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/GBASE/Safricadata/ercal.htm; California Department of Fish and Game. Habitat and Planning Branch. California's Plants and Animals as accessed 5/5/04 at: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/hcpb/cgi-bin/read_one.asp?specy=reptiles&idNum=17; Chipping, D. 1998. Ecological and geological impacts of exotic plants on coastal ecosystems and processes. PORC CONF CALIFORNIA WORLD OCEAN. 1410-1417 (abstract only) accessed 5/20/03 at: http://216.239.3.100/search?=cache:6APenHqbeSsj:www.nature.nps.gov/epmt/abstracts; South Australian Butterflies Caterpillar Foodhost list as accessed 10/8/03 at: http://users.chariot.net.au/~rgrund/foodhost1.htm


Question 1.4 Impact on genetic integrity? D Reviewed Scientific Publication

None. The genus Ehrharta is endemic to South Africa.


Sources of information:

Rossiter, R.C. 1947. Studies on perennial Veldt grass. Commonwealth of Australia Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. Bulletin 227. 1947.


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

Can establish in mature maritime chaparral, readily establishes in dunes, areas with some natural disturbance. Disturbance may aid spread.


Sources of information:

Holland, V.L. date unknown. The El Moro Elfin Forest, Introduction as accessed 10/8/03 at: http://biosci.calpoly.edu/biosci/faculty/holland/ELFIN.html.; Baird. A. M. 1977. Abstract of: Regeneration after fire in Kings Park, Perth, Western Australia. Journal of Royal Society of Western Australia, 60 (1):1-22; Unknown. 1996. Veldt grass and beachgrass control. Final Report of the successful creation of wetlands and restoration of San Antonio Terrace, Vandenberg AFB, California. Pgs. 2-91 - 2-96.


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

Can increase > 100% in one year when untreated per D. Walters, 1996, as cited by Chesnut. 1999.


Sources of information:

Chesnut, J. 1999. A review of weed threats to the Nipomo Dunes: Final Draft. Accessed in .pdf from http://www.special-places.org/library.htm, 5/5/04; Unknown. 1996. Veldt grass and beachgrass control. Final Report of the successful creation of wetlands and restoration of San Antonio Terrace, Vandenberg AFB, California. Pgs. 2-91 - 2-96.


Question 2.3 Recent trend in total area infested within state? A Reviewed Scientific Publication
Describe trend:

Increasing.


Sources of information:

Veldt grass and beachgrass control. Final Report of the successful creation of wetlands and restoration of San Antonio Terrace, Vandenberg AFB, California. Pgs. 2-91 - 2-96.enter text here


Question 2.4 Innate reproductive potential? A Reviewed Scientific Publication
Describe key reproductive characteristics:

Seeds, bulblets, rhizomes,prostrate form roots at nodes where there is soil contact, is essentially cross-fertile although a small percentage of plants germinate from selfing. Resprouts following fire. Has large seed bank (75,000 seeds/sq. m.). Sprouts in both light and dark conditions suggesting this species can sprout from seeds on the soil surface or from buried seeds. In Australia germination can occur at any time of year with suitable moisture, per Smith et al.`.


Sources of information:

Rossiter, R.C. 1947. Studies on perennial Veldt grass. Commonwealth of Australia Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. Bulletin 227. 1947; Smith et al. 1999. Comparitive seed germination ecology of Austrostipa compressa and Ehrharta calycina (Poaceae) in a Western Australian Banksia woodland. Australian Journal od Ecology 24:35-42; Chipping, D. 1998. Ecological and geological impacts of exotic plants on coastal ecosystems and processes. PORC CONF CALIFORNIA WORLD OCEAN. 1410-1417 (abstract only) accessed 5/20/03 at: http://216.239.3.100/search?=cache:6APenHqbeSsj:www.nature.nps.gov/epmt/abstracts; South Australian Butterflies Caterpillar Foodhost list as accessed 10/8/03 at: http://users.chariot.net.au/~rgrund/foodhost1.htm


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

Was intentionally introduced to California in 1929 in sandy coastal areas of San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara Counties for forage improvement and sand stabilization. Is still considered a "crop" plant as seen on the Purdue list of New Crops.


Sources of information:

Magness, J. R. et al 1971. Food and feed crops of the United States. Interregion Research Project IR-4, IR Bul. 1 (Bul. 828 New Jersey Agr. Expt. Sta.); Pickart, A. 1996. Interoffice memorandum to Lynn Lozier regarding the status of Veldt grass at Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes. Pickart, A. 2000. IN: Bossard et al. 2000; Purdue Univeresity. 2000. List of new crops as accessed on the web at:http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/indices/index_efgh.html; and the NRCS list http://plant-materials.nrcs.usda.gov/pubs/capmcra2000.pdf.


Question 2.6 Potential for natural long-distance dispersal? B Other Published Material
Identify dispersal mechanisms:

Florets fall near parent plant and can disperse short distances with wind. Most plants enlarge by developing new culms around perimeter of base plant. May disperse with water and soil movement.


Sources of information:

DiTomaso, J. and E. Healy. In Prep. Weeds of California and Other Western States. Unpublished.


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

Is found in Australialian bushlands and in New Zealand. Threatens blue gum woodlands in Australia; is found of coastal areas of Texas. . enter text here


Sources of information:

Vidler, S. 2003 Compiler. Australian flora and fauna threatened by invasive plants. Weeds CRC, September 2003; US Army Corps of Engineers. Non-native Plant Species (NNIPS) profiles. Appendix D as accessed online @http:// www.hnd.usace.army.mil/techinfo/ CPW/PWTB200-1-18/.%5CPWTB%20200-1-18_AppendixD.pdf


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

Imported seed from Australia in 1920s . Its use was advocated for soil/sand stabilization and as a forage crop during 1950s and 60s. Was planted on dunes and ranches in coastal San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. In California noe primarily found in dune scrub, coastal scrub and maritime chaparral, and coast live oak woodlannds. The plant has been reported from 10 California State Park units; Gaviota SP, Andrew Molera SP, Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP, Point Lobos SR, Sonoma Coast SB, Crystal Cove SP, Torrey Pines SR, Los Osos Oaks SR, Montana de Oro SP, and Sunset SB. It has been recognized as a major threat to the Nipomo Dunes Complex and to the terraces at Vandenberg AFB. Is also on the California Native Plant Society's East Bay Chapter list of top twenty pest plants.
Occupies coastal dunes, coastal scrub, coastal live oak forests, maritime chaparral.; coastal prairie, 4 Major types, six minor types.


Sources of information:

Chesnut, J. 1999. A review of weed threats to the Nipomo Dunes: final draft. The lLand Conservancy of San Luis Obispo. 40 pages; Pickart. 2000. IN: Bossard et al. 2000; Natural Resources Division, California Statte Parks 2002. Natural Resources Condition Assessment, California Department of Parks and Recreation, Sacramento, CA; The El Moro Elfin Forest, Introduction as accessed 10/8/03 at: http://biosci.calpoly.edu/biosci/faculty/holland/ELFIN.html.


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

The plant has been reported from 10 California State Park units; Gaviota SP, Andrew Molera SP, Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP, Point Lobos SR, Sonoma Coast SB, Crystal Cove SP, Torrey Pines SR, Los Osos Oaks SR, Montana de Oro SP, and Sunset SB. It has been recognized as a major threat to the Nipomo Dunes Complex and to the terraces at Vandenberg AFB.
Occupies coastal dunes, coastal scrub, coastal live oak forests, maritime chaparral.; 3 Major types, five minor types.


Sources of information:

Chesnut, J. 1999. A review of weed threats to the Nipomo Dunes: final draft. The lLand Conservancy of San Luis Obispo. 40 pages; Pickart. 2000. IN: Bossard et al. 2000; Natural Resources Division, California Statte Parks 2002. Natural Resources Condition Assessment, California Department of Parks and Recreation, Sacramento, CA; The El Moro Elfin Forest, Introduction as accessed 10/8/03 at: http://biosci.calpoly.edu/biosci/faculty/holland/ELFIN.html.


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 Yes
Seeds remain viable in soil for three or more years Unknown
Viable seed produced with both self-pollination and cross-pollination Yes
Has quickly spreading vegetative structures (rhizomes, roots, etc.) that may root at nodes Yes
Fragments easily and fragments can become established elsewhere Unknown
Resprouts readily when cut, grazed, or burned Yes
Total points: 8
Total unknowns: 2
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
DunescoastalC, 5% - 20%
desert
interior
Scrub and Chaparralcoastal bluff scrubD, < 5%
coastal scrubD, < 5%
Sonoran desert scrub
Mojavean desert scrub (incl. Joshua tree woodland)
Great Basin scrub
chenopod scrub
montane dwarf scrub
Upper Sonoran subshrub scrub
chaparralD, < 5%
Grasslands, Vernal Pools, Meadows, and other Herb Communitiescoastal prairieD, < 5%
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 woodlandD, < 5%
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): A
Distribution (highest score): C

Infested Jepson Regions

Click here for a map of Jepson regions

  • Central West
  • Great Valley
  • Northwest
  • Southwest