Distribution of Japanese Stilt-grass, Concerns, and Potential Impacts in New England


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Distribution of Japanese Stilt-grass, Concerns, and Potential Impacts in New England








Microstegium vimineum

  • Poaceae

  • Annual grass

  • Rich woods, alluvial forests, edges of fields, yards, roadsides, right-of-ways, almost anywhere!

  • Native to Eastern Asia

  • Earliest North American record –

  • Tennessee 1919



Taxonomy – Microstegium vimineum (Trin.) A. Camus

  • Adropogoneae Tribe – Poaceae

  • Synonyms: Eulalia viminea (Trin.) Ktze.

  • Andropogon vimineum Trin.

  • Eulalia viminea var. variabilis Ktze.

  • Microstegium vimineum var. imberbe

  • (Nees) Honda

  • Common names: Japanese stilt-grass,

  • Nepalese browntop



Current Distribution

  • At least 23 states

  • 2 New England states

    • Connecticut
    • Massachusetts




First record in US:

  • First record in US:

  • Knoxville, TN - 1919

  • First records in Northeast:

  • Pennsylvania - 1938

  • New Jersey - 1959

  • First record in New England

  • Branford, CT - 1984













New England Records

  • Connecticut Botanical Society Herbarium

  • Daniel Cady Eaton Herbarium (Yale)

  • G. Safford Torrey Herbarium (UCONN)

  • New England Botanical Club Herbarium

  • Gray Herbarium (Harvard)

  • Charles B. Graves Herbarium (Conn Coll.)

  • University of Massachusetts Herbaria

  • Invasive Plant Atlas of New England



First New England Record

  • Branford, New Haven County, Connecticut

  • Date: 13 OCT 1984

  • Collector: Sterling Parker 84.15

  • Habitat: Damp, semi-open area























Concerns



Some questions…

  • How did it get here?

  • Are there particularly vulnerable habitats?

  • Are there other incursions that we have not found?

  • How far is it likely to spread?

  • Will it be correctly identified and discovered in time?



Pathways & Vectors

  • Recreational sites and hiking trails

  • Riverine and alluvial woodlands

  • Roadsides and power line right-of-ways

  • Botanist’s yards



Pathways & Vectors

  • People – clothing, pets, equipment

  • especially hikers who have been in

  • infested areas

  • Trucks and equipment

  • Natural biotic & abiotic dispersers – water, wildlife, birds

  • Field equipment – packs, presses, vehicles

  • (canoes)





Correct Identification

  • Annual

  • Roots – fibrous

  • Nodes – glabrous

  • Sheath summit – hairy along margins

  • Midrib – appears silver

  • Glumes – present

  • Fall color – yellowish to pale purple

  • Flowering initiation – after mid September



Mistaken species

  • Leersia virginica – White grass (native)

  • Brachyelytrum erectum (native)

  • Brachyelytrum septentrionale (native)





Annual vs. Perennial









Questionable Reports

  • Appalachian Trail, Maine

  • Acadia National Park, Maine

  • Northcentral Massachusetts

  • Various yards around New England



What can we do?

  • Learn to recognize Microstegium vimineum

  • Distribute herbarium specimens

  • Train volunteers to recognize and report new incursions

  • Predict potential range and habitats

  • Control incursions



IPANE Invasive Plant Atlas of New England

  • 300+ trained volunteers in 6 states

  • Website images and information

  • Identification workshops

  • “Early Warning Species”

  • Quick Report buttons

  • Trigger rapid response

  • Predictive modeling





IPANE Early Detection page

  • List of “Early Detection Species”

  • Table of species’ status in all 6 states

  • Early detection protocols

  • How to report a possible new incursion













Control efforts





In Summary

  • Microstegium vimineum is known to occur in Connecticut and Massachusetts

  • Correct identification is possible but confusing

  • Need for vigilance

  • Report new incursions



Contact us -

  • http://invasives.eeb.uconn.edu/ipane/

  • ipane@uconn.edu

  • Les Mehrhoff

  • vasculum@uconnvm.uconn.edu




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