Polypogon monspeliensis - (L.) Desf.
Annual Rabbit's-foot Grass
Other Common Names: annual rabbitsfoot grass
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Polypogon monspeliensis (L.) Desf. (TSN 41171)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.152816
Element Code: PMPOA50050
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Grass Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Poaceae Polypogon
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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: Polypogon monspeliensis
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 (14Oct2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (SNA), Alaska (SNA), Arizona (SNA), Arkansas (SNA), California (SNA), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), Florida (SNA), Georgia (SNR), Hawaii (SNA), Idaho (SNA), Kansas (SNA), Louisiana (SNA), Maine (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNA), Mississippi (SNA), Montana (SNA), Nebraska (SNA), Nevada (SNA), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New Mexico (SNA), New York (SNA), North Carolina (SNA), North Dakota (SNA), Oklahoma (SNA), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), South Carolina (SNA), South Dakota (SNA), Tennessee (SNA), Texas (SNA), Utah (SNA), Virginia (SNA), Washington (SNA), Wisconsin (SNA), Wyoming (SNA)
Canada Alberta (SNA), British Columbia (SNA), Manitoba (SNA), Ontario (SNA), Quebec (SNA), Saskatchewan (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, ARexotic, AZexotic, CAexotic, COexotic, CTexotic, DEexotic, FLexotic, GA, HIexotic, IDexotic, KSexotic, LAexotic, MA, MDexotic, MEexotic, MIexotic, MSexotic, MTexotic, NCexotic, NDexotic, NEexotic, NHexotic, NJexotic, NMexotic, NVexotic, NYexotic, OKexotic, ORexotic, PAexotic, SCexotic, SDexotic, TNexotic, TXexotic, UTexotic, VAexotic, WAexotic, WIexotic, WYexotic
Canada ABexotic, BCexotic, MBexotic, ONexotic, QCexotic, SKexotic

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: High/Low
Rounded I-Rank: Unknown
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Polypogon monspeliensis is widespread across the U.S. but is more common in the west. In the Sonoran region, it is one of the most successful riparian exotics. In Grand Canyon National Park it is exhibiting a moderate rate of increase in numbers of individuals and populations. In California, Polypogon monspeliensis occurs in serpentine and nonserpentine foothill grasslands which contain native species that are critically endangered. It also occurs in salt marshes with freshwater inflows, waste places, wet pastures, wet soil in ditches and marshes, and along lakes and ponds. Polypogon monspeliensis forms dense swards that crowd out native plants and prevent their regeneration. It may have allelopathic effects. Apparently, most of its negative impacts on biodiversity are in California and Arizona but more information is needed. More information is also needed about its trends.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: High/Low
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: High/Medium
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: High/Low
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: High/Medium
I-Rank Review Date: 31Mar2004
Evaluator: Tomaino, A.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Native to Europe, northern Africa, and Asia (Weber 2003).

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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: An invasive exotic in natural areas in the western U.S. (Weber 2003).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: High/Low

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Dried leaves of Polypogon monspeliensis have allelopthic affects on crops in India (Inderjit 1995). Polypogon monspeliensis may have allelopathic effects on native vegetation in the region of interest.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Medium/Low significance
Comments: It is an annual grass (Weber 2003). It forms dense swards that crowd out native plants and prevent their regeneration (Weber 2003).

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Medium/Low significance
Comments: It forms dense swards that crowd out native plants and prevent their regeneration (Weber 2003).

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Unknown
Comments: It causes convulsive syndromes in sheep (Bourke 1995). Perhaps it may have negative impacts on native herbivores.

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:High/Moderate significance
Comments: In California, Polypogon monspeliensis occurs in serpentine and nonserpentine grasslands in the Blue Ridge area of northern California (Gelbard and Harrison 2003). The native component of these foothill grasslands is critically endangered (Gelbard and Harrison 2003). In the Sonoran Floristic Province, it is one of the most successful riparian exotics (Tellman 2002). In Grand Canyon National Park it is exhibiting a moderate rate of increase in numbers of individuals and populations and little invasion and displacement of native communities (APRS Implementation Team 2001). Presumeably it is impacting species and communities of conservation significance in at least the foothill grasslands of California and riparian areas in the Sonoran province.

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: High/Medium

6. Current Range Size in Nation:High significance
Comments: Occurs in every U.S. state except Vermont, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia (Kartesz 1999).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Polypogon monspeliensis is the 8th or 9th most widely distributed exotic in the western U.S. and the 3rd or 4th most widely distributed exotic in the Sonoran Floristic Province (Tellman 2002). In the Sonoran Floristic Province, it is one of the most successful riparian exotics (Tellman 2002). In Grand Canyon National Park it is exhibiting a moderate rate of increase in numbers of individuals and populations and little invasion and displacement of native communities (APRS Implementation Team 2001). In California, it is common and occurs in moist places along streams and ditches (Baldwin et al. 2004). In California, Polypogon monspeliensis occurs in serpentine and nonserpentine grasslands in the Blue Ridge area of northern California (Gelbard and Harrison 2003). It also occurs on all the Channel Islands in northern California (Wilken and Hannah 1998). In Hawaii, it is common in mesic to wet sites such as roadside drainages, wet pastures, and along streams (Wagner et al. 1999). In Michigan, it is known from one collection in a waste area (Voss 1985). In the Carolinas and Virginia, it is uncommon and occurs in brackish marshes, and disturbed areas (Weakley 2002). Apparently, most of its negative impacts are in the western U.S.

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:High/Moderate significance
Comments: It is widespread across the U.S. (Kartesz 1999). It may be present in most biogeographic units or as little as 20% of the biogeographic units in the region of interest (inferred from TNC 2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: In the Sonoran Floristic Province, it is one of the most successful riparian exotics (Tellman 2002). In California, it is common and occurs in moist places along streams and ditches (Baldwin et al. 2004). It also occurs in serpentine and nonserpentine grasslands in California (Gelbard and Harrison 2003). Polypogon monspeliensis has also invaded salt marshes with increased freshwater inflows (such as urban runoff) in California (Kuhn and Zedler 1997). In Hawaii, it is common in mesic to wet sites such as roadside drainages, wet pastures, and along streams (Wagner et al. 1999). In the western U.S., it occurs in wet soil in ditches, marshes, and along streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds (USDA SCS 1997). In the northeastern U.S., it occurs in waste places especially southward (Gleason and Cronquist 1991).

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

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:High/Low significance
Comments: It occurs in waste places (Gleason and Cronquist 1991). Disturbed areas are not decreasing, therefore presumeably Polypogon monspeliensis is not decreasing.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Low significance
Comments: It is widespread across the U.S. (Kartesz 1999). 30-90% of its potential range in the U.S. is currently occupied (inferred from USDA 1990).

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Polypogon monspeliensis has spikelets that are 2-3 mm long with an awn of 3.5-7 mm in length (Weber 2003). Polypogon monspeliensis occurs in riparian areas (Tellman 2002). In Grand Canyon National Park, it has great potential for long-distance dispersal (APRS Implementation Team 2001). Presumeably, it may at least infrequently be dispersed by animals or by stream waters for long distances.

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:High/Low significance
Comments: In Grand Canyon National Park, it is exhibiting a moderate rate of increase in numbers of individuals and populations and little invasion and displacement of native communities (APRS Implementation Team 2001). Apparently, its range is not stable or decreasing.

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Medium/Low significance
Comments: In Grand Canyon National Park, it can germinate in existing vegetation in a wide range of conditions and is a moderately successful competitor (APRS Implementation Team 2001). In Grand Canyon National Park it is found in midsuccessional sites disturbed 11 to 50 years ago (APRS Implementation Team 2001).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Low significance
Comments: It is widespread in Canada (Kartesz 1999). In Canada, it occurs in damp soil and waste places (Scoggon 1978). It is an invasive exotic in natural areas in Australia (Weber 2003). In Australia, it is a common weed of disturbed wetlands, both fresh and brackish (Hussey et al. 1997). According to Weber (2003), it has invaded riparian habitats, freshwater wetalands, and coastal marshes. It has already invaded these habitats in the region of interest.

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Low significance
Comments: Polypogon monspeliensis produces more than 1000 seeds per plant (APRS Implementation Team 2001). Seeds remain viable in the soil for 1 to 5 years (APRS Implementation Team 2001). It is an annual grass (Weber 2003). It reproduces only by seed (APRS Implementation Team 2001).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: High/Medium

17. General Management Difficulty:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Scattered plants can be hand pulled or cut, larger populations can be controlled with herbicide (Weber 2003). Salt applications may control Polypogon monspeliensis in salt marshes where increased freshwater inflows have promoted its establishment (Kuhn and Zedler 1997). Polypogon monspeliensis has reduced growth at high salinities (Kuhn and Zedler 1997). In Grand Canyon National Park, it does not resprout following the removal of above ground growth (APRS Implementation Team 2001). Seeds remain viable in the soil for 1 to 5 years (APRS Implementation Team 2001).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Low significance
Comments: Seeds remain viable in the soil for 1 to 5 years (APRS Implementation Team 2001).

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Control measures are likely to cause major impacts on the community in Grand Canyon National Park (APRS Implementation Team 2001). In California, Salicornia subterminalis, a native species which occurs in salt marshes invaded by Polypogon monspeliensis, grew best at high salinities. Presumeably, salt applications to control Polypogon monspeliensis would not negatively impact Salicornia subterminalis (Kuhn and Zedler 1997). However, in most habitats, control of Polypogon monspeliensis could impact native species.

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:Unknown
Comments: It causes convulsive syndromes in sheep (Bourke 1995). The grains are eaten by waterfowl (USDA SCS 1997). It occurs in rice fields in northcentral California (Wilken and Hannah 1998). Accessibility may or may not be a problem.
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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  • Alien plants ranking system (APRS) Implementation Team. 2001a. Alien plants ranking system version 7.1. Southwest Exotic Plant Information Clearinghouse, Flagstaff, AZ. Online. Available: http://www.usgs.nau.edu/swepic/ (accessed 2004).

  • Baldwin, B.G., S. Boyd, B.J. Ertter, D.J. Keil, R.W. Patterson, T.J. Rosatti and D.H. Wilken. 2004.
    Jepson Flora Project, Jepson Online Interchange for California Floristics. Regents of the University of California, Berkeley. Online. Available: http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/jepson_flora_project.html (Accessed 2004).

  • Bourke, C. A. 1995. The clinical differentiation of nervous and muscular locomotor disorders of sheep in Australia. Australian Veterinary Journal 72 (6): 228-234.

  • Gelbard, J. L., and S. Harrison. 2003. Roadless habitats as refuges for native grasslands: interactions with soil, aspect, and grazing. Ecological Applications: 13(2): 404-415.

  • 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.

  • Hussey, B. M. J., G.J. Keighery, R.D. Cousens, J. Dodd & S.G. Lloyd. 1997. Western weeds: a guide to the weeds of western Australia. The Plant Protection Society of Western Australia. Available online: http://members.iinet.net.au/~weeds/pps_publications.htm. (Accessed 2004.)

  • Inderjit, I. 1995. Allelopathic potential of an annual weed, Polypogon monspeliensis, in crops in India. Plant and Soil 173(2): 251-257.

  • 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.

  • Kuhn, N. L. and B. J. Zedler. 1997. Differential effects of salinity and soil saturation on native and exotic plants of a coastal salt marsh. Estuaries 20 (2): 391-403.

  • Scoggan, H.J. 1978-1979. The flora of Canada: Parts 1-4. National Museums Canada, Ottawa. 1711 pp.

  • Tellman, B., editor. 2002. Invasive Exotic Species in the Sonoran Region. The University of Arizona Press and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson. 424 pp.

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

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

  • USDA Soil Conservation Service. 1997. Western wetland flora: field office guide to plant species West National Technical Center, Portland, Oregon, and Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown, North Dakota. Online. Available: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/othrdata/westflor/westflor.htm (accessed 2004).

  • Voss, E.G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicotyledons. Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. Ann Arbor, Michigan. 1212 pp.

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