Plant Assessment Form

Salvia aethiopis

Common Names: Mediterranean sage; African sage

Evaluated on: 21-Jul-04

List committee review date: 27/08/2004

Re-evaluation date:

Evaluator(s)

Rob Wilson, Weed Ecology/Cropping Systems Farm Advisor
University of California Cooperative Extension
707 Nevada St. Susanville, CA 96130
530-251-8132
rgwilson@ucdavis.edu
Joseph M. DiTomaso
University of California
Weed Science Program, Robbins Hall, Davis, CA 95616
530-754-8715
ditomaso@vegmail.ucdavis.edu

List commitee members

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

General Comments

No general comments for this species

Table 2. Criteria, Section, and Overall Scores

Overall Score? Limited
Alert Status? No Alert
Documentation? 2.5 out of 5
Score Documentation
1.1 ?Impact on abiotic ecosystem processes D Anecdotal
Impact?
Four-part score DCBU Total Score
C
1.2 ?Impact on plant community C. Minor Other Published Material
1.3 ?Impact on higher trophic levels B. Moderate Other Published Material
1.4 ?Impact on genetic integrity U. Unknown
2.1 ?Role of anthropogenic and natural disturbance in establishment B. Moderate Other Published Material
Invasiveness?
Total Points
14 Total Score B
2.2 ?Local rate of spread with no management B. Increases less rapidly Other Published Material
2.3 ?Recent trend in total area infested within state B. Increasing less rapidly Observational
2.4 ?Innate reproductive potential
(see Worksheet A)
B. Moderate Other Published Material
2.5 ?Potential for human-caused dispersal C. Low Other Published Material
2.6 ? Potential for natural long-distance dispersal A. Frequent Other Published Material
2.7 ?Other regions invaded B. Invades 1 or 2 ecological types 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)
D. Very 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? D Anecdotal
Identify ecosystem processes impacted:

Little information is available regarding Salvia aethiopis affects on abiotic ecosystem processes. Salvia aethiopis primarly grows in shrub steppe, especially disturbed areas, in gaps between bunchgrasses and shrubs. In areas with regular soil disturbance or overgrazing, Salvia aethiopis will form dense populations. But in healthy shrub steppe, Saliva aethiopis populations are usually quite spotty. Saliva aethiopis likely has little effect on fire occurance and intensity. It may have slight effects on soil moisture availability or nutrient availability, but no documented studies could be found.


Sources of information:

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

Little information is available regarding Salvia aethiopis affects on plant community structure and interactions. Salvia aethiopis commonly invades disturbed shrub steppe, but population densities are usually spotty. In Lassen County, dense populations on disturbed rangeland rarely exceed 1 to 2 plants per 5 sq m, and tyical infestations are usually 1-5 plants per 50 sq m. Salvia aethiopis rarely crowds out native vegetation or significantly changes plant community composition or structure. A Nevada Cooperative Extension publication states Saliva is seldom the dominant plant in infested areas.


Sources of information:

Roche, Cindy T. and Wilson, Linda M. 1999. Mediterranean Sage. In: Sheley, Roger; Petroff, Janet., eds. Biology and Management of Noxious Rangeland Weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 261-270.
Graham, Jessica and Johnson, Wayne. 2004. Managing Mediterranean Sage. Nevada Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet. FS-04027. www.unce.unr.edu
Personal observations by Rob Wilson and David Lile, UCCE Farm Advisors Lassen County, CA


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

Salvia aethiopis is unpalatable to most grazing animals, although it's not toxic. Salvia aethiopis produces volatile oils, predominantly terpenes, from the epidermal hairs on leaves and from the root. The aromatic chemicals and thick pubescence on leaves is thought to deter attack by most plant-feeding insects.


Sources of information:

Roche, Cindy T. and Wilson, Linda M. 1999. Mediterranean Sage. In: Sheley, Roger; Petroff, Janet., eds. Biology and Management of Noxious Rangeland Weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 261-270.


Question 1.4 Impact on genetic integrity? U

To the author's knowledge, no known hybridization has occurred with Salvia aethiopis and native sages. California does have several native sages in the Salvia genus.


Sources of information:

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

Salvia aethiopis readily invades disturbed sites including heavily grazed rangeland, roads, and logging sites, but Salvia aethiopis has also been documented to invade climax sagebrush steppe sites where rosettes establish between grass bunches. The plant composition of shrub steppe combined with Salvia aethiopis's growth structure and ability to distribute seeds over large distances (tumbleweed) allow Salvia aethiopis to establish in most shrub steppe serial stages. Salvia aethiopis is most invasive following disturbance and usually isn't problematic in areas with strong plant competition.


Sources of information:

Roche, Cindy T. and Wilson, Linda M. 1999. Mediterranean Sage. In: Sheley, Roger; Petroff, Janet., eds. Biology and Management of Noxious Rangeland Weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 261-270.


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

Salvia aethiopis is capable of rapidly spreading across the landscape in disturbed, shrub steppe ecotypes. In Oregon, Salvia aethiopis was first found in Lake County in the 1920's. By 1949, Salvia aethiopis populations in this area had spread to cover 42,240 acres. By 1954, the estimated size of the infestation had grown to more than 100,000 acres. Today, the estimated agreage is approximately 1.3 million acres. Salvia populations in Idaho are estimated to be 4,000 acres. In Colorado, Salvia aethiopis was first reported in 1951 in a pasture. The population remained small and stable for many years, but it began spreading rapidly in the late 1980's along the foothills highway near Boulder, CO. The infestation is estimated to have grown into an area of 4 miles.
In Northeast California, Salvia aethiopis infestations in sagebrush steppe rangeland have been spreading across the landscape at a steady pace for several years, but plant densities within the infestation have remained static and the rate of spread does not seem to be as rapid as reported elsewhere. Salvia aethiopis produces large amounts of seed and seed is easily spread over large distances (tumbleweed). Under favorable conditions such as recent disturbance, high winds, and wet weather, Salvia aethiopis can spread extremely fast across the landscape.


Sources of information:

Roche, Cindy T. and Wilson, Linda M. 1999. Mediterranean Sage. In: Sheley, Roger; Petroff, Janet., eds. Biology and Management of Noxious Rangeland Weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 261-270.


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

Mediterranean sage populations can be found sporadically throughout most of Lassen and Modoc counties. Populations have also been documented in Siskiyou and Plumas counties. Populations in Lassen and Modoc appear to be spreading especially in areas that are overgrazed or areas with recent soil disturbance. BLM officials estimate existing populations on BLM land in Northeast California have doubled their range in the last 10 years, but population densities within the infested areas have remained static over the last 10 year period.


Sources of information:

Communication with Rob Wilson and David Lile, UCCE Farm Advisors Lassen County


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

Reproduces by seed. A single plant can produce between 50 and 100,000 seeds. Fresh seeds are dormant through an after-ripening period.


Sources of information:

Roche, Cindy T. and Wilson, Linda M. 1999. Mediterranean Sage. In: Sheley, Roger; Petroff, Janet., eds. Biology and Management of Noxious Rangeland Weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 261-270.


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

Salvia aethiopis can spread along transportation corridors. Plants easily attach to vechicles and machinery. Seeds can also be spread with contaminated soil and hay.


Sources of information:

Roche, Cindy T. and Wilson, Linda M. 1999. Mediterranean Sage. In: Sheley, Roger; Petroff, Janet., eds. Biology and Management of Noxious Rangeland Weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 261-270.


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

Salvia aethiopis seed is commonly dispersed over long distances. The plant breaks off near the ground and becomes a tumbleweed slowly releasing seeds. Most sagebrush steppe locations have regular strong winds that aid this process. Wildlife (birds) also move the seed over long distances.


Sources of information:

Roche, Cindy T. and Wilson, Linda M. 1999. Mediterranean Sage. In: Sheley, Roger; Petroff, Janet., eds. Biology and Management of Noxious Rangeland Weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 261-270.


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

Salvia aethiopis is present in CA, OR, WA, ID, CO, NV, SD, and AR. In Oregon and CA, Salvia aethiopis is primarly a problem in big sagebrush steppe and juniper/sagebrush/bunchgrass plant communities. In Idaho, Salvia aethiopis grows in canyon grasslands and extends into ponderosa pine woodlands; it flourishes where native vegetation was replaced by exotic annual grasses and weedy forbs. In WA, Salvia aethiopis commonly grows in openings in ponderosa pine associated with snowberry, ninebark, and bluebunch wheatgrass. Andres et al. (1995) suggests that much of the Salmon and Snake River watersheds, Great Basin, and northern California are susceptible to Salvia aethiopis invasion. In other states, Salvia aethiopis is a problem in ponderosa pine woodlands and canyon grasslands, although it's rarely found in these plant communities in CA.


Sources of information:

Roche, Cindy T. and Wilson, Linda M. 1999. Mediterranean Sage. In: Sheley, Roger; Petroff, Janet., eds. Biology and Management of Noxious Rangeland Weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 261-270.
Andres, L.A., E. Coombs, and JP McCaffrey. 1995. Mediterranean sage. IN: Biological Control in the western United States: Accomplishments and Benefits of Regional Research Project W-84. Berkeley, UC DANR Pub. 3361, 296-298.


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

The earliest US record of Salvia aethiopis in the US is from roadsides in Susanville, CA in 1892. Salvia aethiopis primarly infests big sagebrush/bunchgrass, juniper/sagebrush/bunchgrass, and ponderosa pine/bitterbrush/bunchgrass plant communities.


Sources of information:

Roche, Cindy T. and Wilson, Linda M. 1999. Mediterranean Sage. In: Sheley, Roger; Petroff, Janet., eds. Biology and Management of Noxious Rangeland Weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 261-270.


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

Sources of information:

Observational - R. Wilson


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 Unknown
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 Yes
Total points: 5
Total unknowns: 2
Total score: B?

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 scrub
Sonoran desert scrub
Mojavean desert scrub (incl. Joshua tree woodland)
Great Basin scrubD, < 5%
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 grasslandD, < 5%
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 woodlandD, < 5%
Sonoran thorn woodland
Forestbroadleaved upland forest
North Coast coniferous forest
closed cone coniferous forest
lower montane coniferous forestD, < 5%
upper montane coniferous forest
subalpine coniferous forest
Alpine Habitatsalpine boulder and rock field
alpine dwarf scrub
Amplitude (breadth): B
Distribution (highest score): D

Infested Jepson Regions

Click here for a map of Jepson regions

  • Cascade Range
  • Northwest
  • Sierra Nevada
  • Modoc Plateau