Plant Assessment Form

Ficus carica

Common Names: edible fig

Evaluated on: 8/27/04

List committee review date: 27/08/2004

Re-evaluation date:

Evaluator(s)

John M. Randall
The Nature Conservancy and Univeristy of California Davis
TNC Invasive Species Initiative, 124 Robbins Hall, Weed Science Program, University of California, Davis, CA 95616
530 754 8890
jarandall@tnc.org

List commitee members

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

General Comments

No general comments for this species

Table 2. Criteria, Section, and Overall Scores

Overall Score? Moderate
Alert Status? No Alert
Documentation? 2.5 out of 5
Score Documentation
1.1 ?Impact on abiotic ecosystem processes C Observational
Impact?
Four-part score CABD Total Score
B
1.2 ?Impact on plant community A. Severe Observational
1.3 ?Impact on higher trophic levels B. Moderate Observational
1.4 ?Impact on genetic integrity D. None Reviewed Scientific Publication
2.1 ?Role of anthropogenic and natural disturbance in establishment B. Moderate Observational
Invasiveness?
Total Points
17 Total Score A
2.2 ?Local rate of spread with no management A. Increases rapidly Observational
2.3 ?Recent trend in total area infested within state B. Increasing less rapidly Anecdotal
2.4 ?Innate reproductive potential
(see Worksheet A)
A. High Reviewed Scientific Publication
2.5 ?Potential for human-caused dispersal A. High Reviewed Scientific Publication
2.6 ? Potential for natural long-distance dispersal A. Frequent 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 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? C Observational
Identify ecosystem processes impacted:

NO observed impact on ecosystem processes.
However, it is possible the Ficus carica litter is significantly different from litter of the native trees and other species that it displaces and if so it may signifcantly alter nutrient cycling and soil chemistry.


Sources of information:

personal observations. I did not find any literature reporting results of research on the impacts of Ficus carica on invaded areas. Also see Randall, J.M. 2000. Ficus carica pp. 193-198 In: C.C. Bossard, J.Randall and M.C. Hosovsky (eds.) Invasive Plants of California's Wildlands. University of California Press, Berkeley.


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

Forms dense stands within native riparian forests and woodlands. Edible fig is sometimes the only woody species in these dense stands and the only woody species in other stands.


Sources of information:

personal observations and observations reported by land managers at Dye Creek Preserve. I did not find any literature reporting results of research on the impacts of Ficus carica on invaded areas. Also see Randall, J.M. 2000. Ficus carica pp. 193-198 In: C.C. Bossard, J.Randall and M.C. Hosovsky (eds.) Invasive Plants of California's Wildlands. University of California Press, Berkeley.


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

If it produces fruits, it attracts rats which will also prey on birds, particularly nestlings (Underwood, ).


Sources of information:

Cynthia Roye, pers observation. Aug. 2004.


Question 1.4 Impact on genetic integrity? D Reviewed Scientific Publication

There are no native Ficus species, and no native members of the Moraceae


Sources of information:

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


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

Ficus carica becomes established in riparian areas that have had no recent anthropogenic disturbance but its establishment appears to be promoted by flooding disturbance. Ficus carica is also common along many levees in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Although they may have become established decades after the intial creation of the levees they may benefit from disturbance caused by maintainence activities.


Sources of information:

Personal observations and personal communications with Becky Waegell and Peter Hujick, land managers of the Cosumnes River Preserve and Dye Creek Preserve respectively. Also see pp 195-196 in Randall, J.M. 2000. Ficus carica pp. 193-198 In: C.C. Bossard, J.Randall and M.C. Hosovsky (eds.) Invasive Plants of California's Wildlands. University of California Press, Berkeley.


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

I observed the rapid increase in size of an infestation at the Cosumnes River Preserve over a 2-3 year period and estimated ages of trees in the roughly 0.25 acre infestation and found that the oldest trunk present was probably only 8 years old.


Sources of information:

Personal observations, and corroborating statements by land managers at the Cosumnes River Preserve and Dye Creek Preserve. Also see Randall, J.M. 2000. Ficus carica pp. 193-198 In: C.C. Bossard, J.Randall and M.C. Hosovsky (eds.) Invasive Plants of California's Wildlands. University of California Press, Berkeley.


Question 2.3 Recent trend in total area infested within state? B Anecdotal
Describe trend:

Reports of new or newly detected infestations from Cosumnes River Preserve and Dye Creek suggest that this species is still spreading in California


Sources of information:

Personal observations at Cosumnes River Preserve, reports from Becky Waegell of Cosumnes River Preserve and from Peter Hujik at Dye Creek Preserve.


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

Ficus carica trees are capable of producing abundant fruit and seed two or three times per year. The plants also spread vegetatively via root sprouts and via broken branches that make contact with the soil and form roots. These broken branches may be carried great distances in flood waters, finally washing up in a new location where they may establish a new population.


Sources of information:

Randall, J.M. 2000. Ficus carica pp. 193-198 In: C.C. Bossard, J.Randall and M.C. Hosovsky (eds.) Invasive Plants of California's Wildlands. University of California Press, Berkeley.

Michailides, T.J. D.P. Morgan and KV. Subbarao. 1996. Fig endosepsis: an old disease still a dilemma for California growers. Plant Disease 80: 828-841.

Furguson L., T.J. Michailides and H.H. Shorey. 1990. The California fig industry. In J. Janick (ed.) Horticultural Reviews 12. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

Kjellberg, F., P.H. Gouyon, M. Ibrahim, M. Raymond and G. Valdeyron. 1987. The stability of the symbiosis between dioecious figs and their pollinators: a study of Ficus carica and Blastophaga psenes L. Evolution 41: 693-704.


Question 2.5 Potential for human-caused dispersal? A Reviewed Scientific Publication
Identify dispersal mechanisms:

Ficus carica is grown as a crop is California. In fact as of the late 1990s California was the third most important producer of figs in the world. Figs are also popular ornamental trees in California


Sources of information:

Michailides, T.J. D.P. Morgan and KV. Subbarao. 1996. Fig endosepsis: an old disease still a dilemma for California growers. Plant Disease 80: 828-841.

Furguson L., T.J. Michailides and H.H. Shorey. 1990. The California fig industry. In J. Janick (ed.) Horticultural Reviews 12. Timber Press, Portland, OR.


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

Fig fruits are eaten by many animals, including birds which may disperse the seeds. Also, the branches are relatively brittle and may break off during storms or floods and can then be carried great distances before washing up in a new location.


Sources of information:

Personal observations at Cosumnes River Preserve.


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

Edible fig has naturalized in Australia (Vicoria, Western Australia), New Zealand and the Galapagos, but in these places it does not invade habitat types that it has not already invaded here in California.


Sources of information:

Randall, R.P. 2002. A Global Compendium of Weeds. RG and FJ Richardson, Meredith, Victoria, Australia.


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

Ficus carica invades riparian forests, streamside habitats, levees and canal banks in the Central Valley and surrounding foothills, along the south coast and coastal flats and coastal scrub on the Channel Islands.


Sources of information:

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

Junak, S. T. Ayers, R. Scott, D. Wilken and D. Young. 1995. A Flora of Santa Cruz Island. Santa Barbara Botanical Garden and California Native Plant Society, Santa Barbara, California.

Randall, J.M. 2000. Ficus carica pp. 193-198 In: C.C. Bossard, J.Randall and M.C. Hosovsky (eds.) Invasive Plants of California's Wildlands. University of California Press, Berkeley.


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

Many of the riparian forests in the Cental Valley contain Ficus carica as do many sloughs and levees in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. However, when compared to all riparian forest habitat in the state a conservative estimate is that just 5-20% of all this habitat statewide contains the fig.
enter text here


Sources of information:

Personal observations, Also see:
Hickman, J.C. 1993. The Jepson Manual Higher Plants of California. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

Randall, J.M. 2000. Ficus carica pp. 193-198 In: C.C. Bossard, J.Randall and M.C. Hosovsky (eds.) Invasive Plants of California's Wildlands. University of California Press, Berkeley.


Worksheet A - Innate reproductive potential

Reaches reproductive maturity in 2 years or less No
Dense infestations produce >1,000 viable seed per square meter Unknown
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 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: 6
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
Dunescoastal
desert
interior
Scrub and Chaparralcoastal bluff scrub
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
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 swampC, 5% - 20%
Riparian and Bottomland habitatriparian forestC, 5% - 20%
riparian woodland
riparian scrub (incl.desert washes)D, < 5%
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): B
Distribution (highest score): C

Infested Jepson Regions

Click here for a map of Jepson regions

  • Cascade Range
  • Central West
  • Great Valley
  • Northwest
  • Sierra Nevada
  • Southwest
  • Mojave Desert