Alopecurus pratensis_C173-01
Photo courtesy UC Davis Weeds of California

Alopecurus pratensis Risk Assessment

Common names: meadow foxtail

Alopecurus pratensis -- California

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Evaluation Summary
Summary: 
General Evaluation Information
Date of Evaluation: 
August 17, 2016
Evaluation Time (hrs): 
3 Hours
Evaluation Status: 
Completed
Plant Information
Plant Material: 
If the plant is a cultivar, and if the cultivar's behavior differs from its parent's (behavior), explain how: 
Regional Information
Region Name: 
Climate Matching Map
These maps were built using a toolkit created in collaboration between GreenInfo Network, PlantRight, Cal-IPC, and Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis.
Climate Matching Maps PDF: 
Invasive History and Climate Matching
1. Has the species (or cultivar or variety, if applicable; applies to subsequent "species" questions) become naturalized where it is not native?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Naturalized in California. Present in 33 counties according to Calflora. Also naturalized in many northern states (USDA Plants) and in South America.
Reference(s): 
2. Is the species (or cultivar or variety) noted as being naturalized in the US or world in a similar climate?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
2
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Naturalized in California. Present in 33 counties according to Calflora. Also naturalized in northern states in areas which are climate matches to California.
Reference(s): 
3. Is the species (or cultivar or variety) noted as being invasive in the U.S. or world?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
2
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
In its introduced range, A. pratensis has been reported as invasive in parts of Australia, Alaska, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway and Sweden (CABI Abstracts).
Reference(s): 
4. Is the species (or cultivar or variety) noted as being invasive in the US or world in a similar climate?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
3
Confidence Level: 
Low
Answer / Justification: 
In its introduced range, A. pratensis has been reported as invasive in parts of Australia, Alaska, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway and Sweden (CABI Abstracts). A few of the areas where it is reported as invasive in Australia are climate matches to California.
Reference(s): 
5. Are other species of the same genus (or closely related genera) invasive in a similar climate?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
Blackgrass (Alopecurus myosuroides) has been listed as a noxious weed in the state of Washington, one of the states where winter wheat is a major crop. The areas it is reported for in Washington match the California climate according to the Cal-IPC climate map.
Reference(s): 
6. Is the species (or cultivar or variety) found predominately in a climate matching the region of concern?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
While there are some areas outside California with climate matches to California within meadow foxtail's distribution, greater than 50% of the areas in GBIF are located further north in Europe, or in areas of Australia and South America which do not match California.
Impact on Native Plants and Animals
7. Does this plant displace native plants and dominate (overtop or smother) the plant community in areas where it has established?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
In its native range, this species has been recorded to form dense swards that allow very few grasses and herbaceous species to thrive with it, decreasing the biodiversity. In northwestern North America, A. pratensis has been found to spread in large montane meadow complexes and wet areas, to the detriment of native plants (CABI).
Reference(s): 
8. Is the plant noted as promoting fire and/or changing fire regimes?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
There is no information on fire and this species. Since it is a perennial grass of wetland areas it would not be likely to promote fire.
Reference(s): 
9. Is the plant a health risk to humans or animals/fish? Has the species been noted as impacting grazing systems?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
A. pratensis is not poisonous and is planted for livestock feed.
Reference(s): 
10. Does the plant produce impenetrable thickets, blocking or slowing movement of animals, livestock, or humans?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
A. pratensis is a perennial grass which grows to 30 inches tall, so would not form an impenetrable thicket.
Reference(s): 
Reproductive Strategies
11. Does this species (or cultivar or variety) reproduce and spread vegetatively?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
A. pratensis can reproduce by producing both a large number of seed and vegetatively from rhizomes (CABI).
Reference(s): 
12. If naturally detached fragments from this plant are capable of producing new plants, is this a common method of reproduction for the plant?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
A. pratensis can reproduce by producing both a large number of seed and vegetatively from rhizomes.
Reference(s): 
13. Does the species (or cultivar or variety) commonly produce viable seed?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Very High
Answer / Justification: 
Reproduces by seed.
Reference(s): 
14. Does this plant produce copious viable seeds each year (> 1000)?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
There is no information available on the number of seeds produced per plant, but it does form dense stands and produces a large amount of seed per acre. The seed production is between 200 and 400 pounds per acre (El Bassam 2010).
15. Is there significant germination (>25%) of seeds the next growing season, with no requirement of an infrequent environmental condition for seeds to germinate (i.e. fire) or long dormancy period?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Low
Answer / Justification: 
Under laboratory conditions seeds are able to germinate three months after harvest. Germination percentages for 8 biotypes studied were between 18 and 78%, with 7 of the 8 biotypes at 24% germination or above. However, these results do not directly apply to the field behavior of the plants.
Reference(s): 
16. Does this plant produce viable seed within the first three years (for an herbaceous species) to five years (for a woody species) after germination?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Very High
Answer / Justification: 
A. pratensis plants produced mature seeds after three months.
Reference(s): 
17. Does this plant continuously produce seed for >3 months each year or does seed production occur more than once a year?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
Flowering occurs in May and June in California.
Reference(s): 
Dispersal
18. Are the plant’s propagules frequently dispersed long distance (>100 m) by mammals or birds or via domestic animals?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
There is no evidence for seed dispersal by mammals, birds or domestic animals.
Reference(s): 
19. Are the plant’s propagules frequently dispersed long distance (>100 m) by wind or water?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Low
Answer / Justification: 
The light and fluffy seeds of A. pratensis may be carried for some distance by air currents. Information was not found on the distance the seed can be dispersed. A pratensis is also found in moist meadow areas so seeds could be dispersed by water.
Reference(s): 
20. Are the plant’s propagules frequently dispersed via contaminated seed (agriculture or wildflower packets), equipment, vehicles, boats or clothing/shoes?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
There is potential for seeds to contaminate grass seed and straw which could lead to its introduction into new areas (CABI).
Reference(s): 
Evaluation Notes

CABI: http://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/4361

Washington for Blackgrass: http://www.nwcb.wa.gov/detail.asp?weed=6

GBIF: http://www.gbif.org/species/5290081

Reviewed by Lynn Sweet and Chris McDonald.

Total PRE Score

  • < 13 : accept (low risk of invasiveness)
  • 13 - 15 : evaluate further
  • > 15 : reject (high risk of invasiveness)

PRE Score: 
18
Number of questions answered: 
20
Screener Confidence (%): 
67.0
PRE Content Access and Privacy
Evaluation visibility: 
Public - accessible to all site users

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