Alopecurus pratensis - L.
Meadow Foxtail
Other English Common Names: Field Foxtail, Field Meadow Foxtail
Other Common Names: meadow foxtail
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Alopecurus pratensis L. (TSN 40438)
French Common Names: vulpin des prés
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.156995
Element Code: PMPOA07090
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Grass Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Poaceae Alopecurus
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Alopecurus pratensis
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (30May2012)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (SNA), Alaska (SNA), California (SNA), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), District of Columbia (SNA), Georgia (SNA), Idaho (SNA), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Iowa (SNA), Kansas (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Maine (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNA), Minnesota (SNA), Missouri (SNA), Montana (SNA), Nebraska (SNA), Nevada (SNA), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New Mexico (SNA), New York (SNA), North Dakota (SNA), Ohio (SNA), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), South Dakota (SNA), Utah (SNA), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SNA), Washington (SNA), West Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (SNA), Wyoming (SNA)
Canada Alberta (SNA), British Columbia (SNA), Labrador (SNA), Manitoba (SNA), New Brunswick (SNA), Newfoundland Island (SNA), Nova Scotia (SNA), Ontario (SNA), Prince Edward Island (SNA), Quebec (SNA), Yukon Territory (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AKexotic, ALexotic, CAexotic, COexotic, CTexotic, DCexotic, DEexotic, GAexotic, IAexotic, IDexotic, ILexotic, INexotic, KSexotic, KYexotic, MA, MDexotic, MEexotic, MIexotic, MNexotic, MOexotic, MTexotic, NDexotic, NEexotic, NHexotic, NJexotic, NMexotic, NVexotic, NYexotic, OHexotic, ORexotic, PAexotic, RIexotic, SDexotic, UTexotic, VAexotic, VTexotic, WAexotic, WIexotic, WVexotic, WYexotic
Canada ABexotic, BCexotic, LBexotic, MBexotic, NBexotic, NFexotic, NSexotic, ONexotic, PEexotic, QCexotic, YTexotic

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
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Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
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Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: Low
Rounded I-Rank: Low
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Alopecurus pratensis was introduced to North America in the mid-1800's as a pasture grass for moist soils. It is relatively widespread in northeastern and northwestern states and also found in Alaska but is infrequent or absent in the central and southern U.S. In Oregon, it has invaded native dominated wet and dry meadows. It may also be having negative impacts in Alaska. Elsewhere in the region, it appears to have low impacts on biodiversity. It is mainly reported from disturbed habitats such as fields, ditches, roadsides and fence rows. It is able to recover quickly if cut or grazed and is a heavy seed producer. Management may be accomplished with herbicides, hand-pulling, or fire.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Insignificant
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: Medium
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Medium/Low
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Medium/Low
I-Rank Review Date: 01May2007
Evaluator: Tomaino, A.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Europe and temperate Asia (USDA 2007).

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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: Established outside cultivation in the U.S. (Kartesz 1999).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: Occurs in poorly to somewhat drained soils in meadows, riverbanks, lakesides, ditches, roadsides and fence rows (FNA 2007).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Insignificant

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Insignificant
Comments: Introduced to North America in the mid-1800's (Welsh 2003). No mention of changes in abiotic ecosystem processes or system-wide parameters found in the literature; assumption is that any alterations are not significant.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: A perennial grass 30 - 110 cm tall with short rhizomes (FNA 2007). No mention of impacts on ecological community structure found in the literature; assumption is that any impacts are not high or moderate.

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Low significance
Comments: In Oregon, it is spreading throughout a large montane meadow wetland to the detriment of native plants (Neugarten and Elseroad 2006). Otherwise, no mention of impacts on community composition found in the literature.

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Insignificant
Comments: No mention of disproportionate impacts on particular native species found in the literature; assumption is that any impacts are not significant.

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Low significance
Comments: In Orgeon, it is invading native dominated wet and dry meadows and spreading in one of the largest montane meadow marsh complexes (Tu 2006; Neugarten and Adrien Elseroad 2006). In Utah, it occurs in mesic to wet sites in meadows and aspen-conifer communities (Welsh 2003). In arctic Alaska, it is widespread and considered to have medium invasiveness (Carlson et al., not dated). At least some of these communities may be of conservation significance or harbor species of conservation significance but apparently it is not usually threatening elements of conservation significance.

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: Medium

6. Current Range Size in Nation:High significance
Comments: Relatively widespread in northeastern and northwestern states and also found in Alaska; infrequent or absent in the central and southern U.S. (J. Kartesz, unpublished data, FNA 2007).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Low significance
Comments: In arctic Alaska, it is widespread and considered to have medium invasiveness (Carlson et al., not dated). In Orgeon, it is invading native dominated wet and dry meadows and spreading in one of the largest existing montane meadow marsh complexes (Tu 2006; Neugarten and Adrien Elseroad 2006). In Pennsylvania, it is recommended as an alternative that "does not have invasive tendencies" compared to Phalaris arundinacea (Rhoads and Bock 2002).

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:Moderate significance
Comments: Inferred from distribution as currently understood (J. Kartesz, unpublished data; TNC 2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Low significance
Comments: Occurs in poorly to somewhat drained soils in meadows, riverbanks, lakesides, ditches, roadsides and fence rows (FNA 2007). In the northeast, it occurs in moist meadows, fields, and waste places (Gleason and Cronquist 1991). In the northern Great Plains, it occurs in moist meadows and marshy areas (Great Plains Flora Association 1986). In California, in open damp meadows (Baldwin et al. 2007). In Utah, it occurs in mesic to wet sites along roads, in pastures, meadows, and aspen-conifer communities (Welsh 2003). In Orgeon, it is invading native dominated wet and dry meadows and spreading in one of the largest montane meadow marsh complexes (Tu 2006; Neugarten and Adrien Elseroad 2006).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Medium/Low

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Introduced to North America in the mid-1800's (Welsh 2003) and fairly widespread in the region (J. Kartesz, unpublished data). However, it is available for sale and occurs in disturbed areas.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Low significance
Comments: Inferred from USDA (1990) and J. Kartesz, unpublished data.

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High significance
Comments: Sold on the internet. Planted for pasture, forage, range rehabilitation, erosion control, and as an ornamental (Welsh 2003; Morisawa 1999).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:High/Low significance
Comments: Occurs in disturbed areas; assumption is that disturbed areas are not decreasing or remaining stable and therefore this species' local range is not decreasing or remaining stable.

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Moderate significance
Comments: In Orgeon, it is invading native dominated wet and dry meadows and spreading in one of the largest existing montane meadow marsh complexes (Tu 2006; Neugarten and Adrien Elseroad 2006). Once established in situations of fertile and continually moist soil, it seems to persist for many years (Dore and McNeill 1980).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Low significance
Comments: In British Columbia, wet to mesic meadows, fallow fields, and roadsides (Douglas et al. 2001). In Nova Scotia, common in rich meadow lands and along roadsides, often making up a considerable proportion of the grasses in such locations (Roland and Smith 1983). In Ontario, it has spread from an experimental farm to nearby fencerows and fields (Dore and McNeill 1980).

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Moderate significance
Comments: Has rapid regrowth capability, allowing it to recover quickly if cut or grazed (Neugarten and Elseroad 2006). It matures early in the spring and is a very heavy seed producer (Meays 1998 in Neugarten and Elseroad 2006). However, it does have a short, non-aggressive root system (Morisawa 1999). It's vegetative spread rate is slow (USDA, NRCS 2007).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Medium/Low

17. General Management Difficulty:Moderate significance
Comments: Herbicides have been used to control this species (Morisawa 1999). It does have a short, non-aggressive root system so manual pulling may be possible in small infestations (Morisawa 1999). Fire is also being evaluated as a technique to control this species (Neugarten and Elseroad 2006).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Medium significance/Insignificant
Comments: No mention of control requiring more than 10 years found in the literature; assumption is that control requires less than 10 years.

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Herbicides may impact non-target species but there are alternative management techniques.

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Planted for pasture, forage, range rehabilitation, erosion control, and as an ornamental (Welsh 2003; Morisawa 1999); assumption is, at least in some areas, accessibility may be a problem but problems not severe.
Authors/Contributors
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Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Baldwin, B., T.J. Rosatti, and M. Wetherwax (eds.). 2007. Second Edition of The Jepson Manual: Vascular Plants of California DRAFT Treatments for public viewing. Available online: http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/jepsonmanual/review/ . Accessed 2007.

  • Carlson, M. L., I. Lapina, and J. A. Michaelson. No date. Invasive non-native plants in the arctic: the intersection of natural andanthropogenic disturbance. Alaska Natural Heritage Program - Environment and Natural Resources Institute & Biological Sciences Department, University of Alaska Anchorage. Online. Available: http://akweeds.uaa.alaska.edu/pdfs/AAAS_Invasive_non-native_plants_arctic.pdf (accessed 2007).

  • Dore, W.G., and J. McNeill. 1980. Grasses of Ontario. Research Branch, Agriculture Cananda, Ottawa. 566 pp.

  • Douglas, G.W., D. Meidinger, and J. Pojar, editors. 2001. The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia. Volume 7. Monocotyledons (Orchidaceae through Zosteraceae). British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks and British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Victoria.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2007a. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 24. Magnoliophyta: Commelinidae (in part): Poaceae, part 1. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxviii + 911 pp.

  • Gleason, H.A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

  • Great Plains Flora Association (R.L. McGregor, coordinator; T.M. Barkley, ed., R.E. Brooks and E.K. Schofield, associate eds.). 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. 1392 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Meades, S.J. & Hay, S.G; Brouillet, L. 2000. Annotated Checklist of Vascular Plants of Newfoundland and Labrador. Memorial University Botanical Gardens, St John's NF. 237pp.

  • Morisawa, T. 1999. Weed Notes: Alopecurus pratensis. 28 September 1999. The Nature Conservancy, Wildland Weeds Management and Research. Online. Available: http://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/moredocs/alopra01.pdf (accessed 2007).

  • Neugarten, R., and A. Elseroad. 2006. The response of meadow foxtail, Alopecurus pratensis, to a prescribed burn at Sycan Marsh: pre-burn report. The Nature Conservancy September 2006. Online. Available http://conserveonline.org/browse_by_category?category=Wetland%20Management (accessed 2007).

  • Rhoads, A.F. and T.A. Block. 2002. Invasive species fact sheet. Reed canary-grass Phalaris arundinacea L. Grass Family (Poaceae). L. Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. Delaware River Invasive Plant Partnership. Online. Available: http://www.paflora.org/DRIPP.html (accessed 2007).

  • Roland, A.E., and E.C. Smith. 1983. The flora of Nova Scotia: Volumes 1 and 2. Nova Scotia Museum, Halifax, NS, Canada. 746 pp.

  • The Nature Conservancy. 2001. Map: TNC Ecoregions of the United States. Modification of Bailey Ecoregions. Online . Accessed May 2003.

  • Tu, M. 2006. Alopecurus pratensis control and management (Oregon, USA). Global Invasive Species Initiative listserve digest #146. Online. Available: http://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/listarch/arch146.html (accessed 2007).

  • USDA Agricultural Research Service. 1990. USDA Plants Hardiness Zone Map. Misc. Publ. Number 1475.

  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. 2007 last update. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, MD. Online. Available: http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/index.pl (Accessed 2007).

  • USDA, NRCS. 2007. The PLANTS Database. Data compiled from various sources by Mark W. Skinner. National Plant Data Center (http://npdc.usda.gov), Baton Rouge, LA. Online. Available: http://plants.usda.gov (Accessed 2007).

  • Weakley, A.S. 2007. Flora of the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, and surrounding areas. Working draft of 11 January 2007. University of North Carolina Herbarium (NCU), North Carolina Botanical Garden, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. [http://www.herbarium.unc.edu/flora.htm (accessed 2007)]

  • Welsh, S.L., N.D. Atwood, S. Goodrich and L.C. Higgins. (Eds.) 2003. A Utah Flora. 3rd edition. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, U.S.A. 912 pp.

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