Zygophyllum fabago_C255-02
Photo courtesy UC Davis Weeds of California

Zygophyllum fabago Risk Assessment

Common names: Syrian beancaper

Zygophyllum fabago -- California

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Evaluation Summary
Summary: 
General Evaluation Information
Date of Evaluation: 
September 20, 2016
Evaluation Time (hrs): 
2 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: 
Very High
Answer / Justification: 
Naturalized in the US, Spain and France.
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: 
Very High
Answer / Justification: 
Naturalized in 11 counties in California (Calflora), as well as Spain, and France, in areas that match California's climate.
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: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
Canadian Food Inspection Agency notes that it is an invasive plant in drylands. CDFA encycloweedia also lists this as noxious. Invasive Plant Atlas indicates it is invasive forming large colonies and invading roadsides and other sites.
Reference(s): 
California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) (0).  Encycloweedia.
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: 
Answer / Justification: 
Yes, it is a California State Noxious Weed, and noted to be invasive here.
Reference(s): 
California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) (0).  Encycloweedia.
5. Are other species of the same genus (or closely related genera) invasive in a similar climate?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
Several other Zygophyllum species were found in the Global Compendium of Weeds, none of which were listed as invasive, noxious or environmental weeds.
Reference(s): 
6. Is the species (or cultivar or variety) found predominately in a climate matching the region of concern?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
2
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
The native distribution in the Caucuses, Middle and West Asia, specifically Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan are areas that match California's climate. As well, the introduced range in southern France and Spain match California's climate.
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: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
U Nevada Cooperative Extension Factsheet indicates ability to dominate a site and "eliminate" native vegetation.
Reference(s): 
8. Is the plant noted as promoting fire and/or changing fire regimes?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
Low
Answer / Justification: 
No information regarding this was found. Not impossible, considering bushy life form. However, no source could be found with search terms including "flammable" or "fire" including perusal of Canadian Risk Assessment summary.
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: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
Washington Noxious Weed site says that it is not known to be toxic. However, Canadian Risk assessment notes significant impact this species can have on rangeland forage, reducing available plants for grazing: "The biggest economic threat from Zygophyllum fabago is to ranchers. The plants can form dense masses that displace beneficial species on rangelands. Control with herbicides is difficult because of the waxy leaf surfaces and because of the extensive root system. The plants are not palatable to livestock (Anonymous 2007), so infestations reduce the amount of useful forage available to browsers. "
Reference(s): 
10. Does the plant produce impenetrable thickets, blocking or slowing movement of animals, livestock, or humans?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
Probable. Washington Noxious Weed Board: "forming a compact multi-branched shrub that may reach three feet tall and spread three feet in diameter." This could be a challenge to navigate. However, an Alberta risk assessment indicated "no" to a question about thickets.
Reproductive Strategies
11. Does this species (or cultivar or variety) reproduce and spread vegetatively?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Very High
Answer / Justification: 
Yes, most sites noted suckering, spread via underground shoots.
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: 
Washington State Weed Control Board and U Nevada Reno factsheet note that rhizome ("root") fragments may produce new plants when detached.
Reference(s): 
13. Does the species (or cultivar or variety) commonly produce viable seed?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Yes, reproduces by viable seed as indicated by all sources where noted.
Reference(s): 
California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) (0).  Encycloweedia.
14. Does this plant produce copious viable seeds each year (> 1000)?
Yes or No: 
Points: 
Confidence Level: 
Answer / Justification: 
Reference(s): 
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: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Kew found 80% germination in seeds. U Nevada factsheet indicates that new plants may be produced from seed every year, implying no special requirements for germination.
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: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
U Nevada factsheet indicates that new plants may be produced from seed every year.
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: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Flowers May to August according to CDFA.
Reference(s): 
California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) (0).  Encycloweedia.
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: 
Low
Answer / Justification: 
Dispersal poorly documented.
Reference(s): 
19. Are the plant’s propagules frequently dispersed long distance (>100 m) by wind or water?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
Low
Answer / Justification: 
Dispersal poorly documented.
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: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
This is one known method of introduction into various US Western States, transport via contaminated alfalfa (noted in Canadian Risk Assessment), however, the site goes on to say that this is not a common invader of agricultural crops, so this is an unlikely vector for introduction to Canada. The site also states that dispersal is poorly documented in this species (Table 1).
Evaluation Notes
Total PRE Score

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

PRE Score: 
19
Number of questions answered: 
19
Screener Confidence (%): 
67.4
PRE Content Access and Privacy
Evaluation visibility: 
Public - accessible to all site users

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