Lolium pratense - (Huds.) S.J. Darbyshire
Meadow Fescue
Other English Common Names: Meadow Ryegrass
Other Common Names: meadow ryegrass
Synonym(s): Festuca pratensis Huds. ;Schedonorus pratensis (Huds.) P. Beauv.
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Schedonorus pratensis (Huds.) P. Beauv. (TSN 784877)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.160302
Element Code: PMPOA3U080
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Grass Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Poaceae Lolium
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: 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.
Concept Reference Code: B99KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Lolium pratense
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 10Jun1993
Global Status Last Changed: 10Jun1993
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (27Oct2015)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (SNA), Alaska (SNA), Arizona (SNA), Arkansas (SNA), California (SNA), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), District of Columbia (SNA), Florida (SNA), Georgia (SNR), Idaho (SNA), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Iowa (SNA), Kansas (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (SNA), Maine (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNA), Minnesota (SNA), Mississippi (SNA), Missouri (SNA), Montana (SNA), Nebraska (SNA), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New Mexico (SNA), New York (SNA), North Carolina (SNA), North Dakota (SNA), Ohio (SNA), Oklahoma (SNA), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), South Carolina (SNA), South Dakota (SNA), Tennessee (SNA), Texas (SNA), Utah (SNA), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SNA), Washington (SNA), West Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (SNA), Wyoming (SNA)
Canada Alberta (SNA), British Columbia (SNA), Manitoba (SNA), New Brunswick (SNA), Newfoundland Island (SNA), Nova Scotia (SNA), Ontario (SNA), Prince Edward Island (SNA), Quebec (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, DCexotic, DEexotic, FLexotic, GA, IAexotic, IDexotic, ILexotic, INexotic, KSexotic, KYexotic, LAexotic, MA, MDexotic, MEexotic, MIexotic, MNexotic, MOexotic, MSexotic, MTexotic, NCexotic, NDexotic, NEexotic, NHexotic, NJexotic, NMexotic, NYexotic, OHexotic, OKexotic, ORexotic, PAexotic, RIexotic, SCexotic, SDexotic, TNexotic, TXexotic, UTexotic, VAexotic, VTexotic, WAexotic, WIexotic, WVexotic, WYexotic
Canada ABexotic, BCexotic, MBexotic, NBexotic, NFexotic, NSexotic, ONexotic, PEexotic, QCexotic

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: Lolium pratense occurs in every U.S. state except Hawaii. It is a tall coarse perennial grass that grows in heavy clumps and often forms dense stands that may crowd out native species. It produces allelopathic substances that inhibit the growth of competing plants. Lolium pratense is planted for pasture, hay, and erosion control. It has established in abandoned fields, meadows, pastures, roadsides, grazed woods, levees, stream banks, and in open natural communities such as prairies and glades. Apparently it usually occurs in disturbed areas and has negative impacts on biodiversity in a small portion of the area it has invaded but more information is needed. Lolium pratense is slow to establish but once the clumps are formed it is difficult to eradicate. Mechanical methods are virtually useless in controlling it because of the thick root system and vegetative resprouting.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium/Low
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: High/Medium
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Medium/Low
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: High/Low
I-Rank Review Date: 29Jun2004
Evaluator: Tomaino, A.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Native to Europe, temperate Asia, and Pakistan (GRIN 2001).

Download "An Invasive Species Assessment Protocol: Evaluating Non-Native Plants for their Impact on Biodiversity". (PDF, 1.03MB)
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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: Established in fields, meadows, and moist soil throughout most of the U.S. (Gleason and Cronquist 1991).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium/Low

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Medium significance/Insignificant
Comments: No mention of changes in abiotic ecosystem processes or system-wide parameters found in the literature; assumption is that any alterations are not major/irreversible.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Moderate significance
Comments: Lolium pratense is a tall coarse perennial grass with short creeping rootstocks that grows in heavy clumps; it often forms dense stands and may reach five feet in height (Hutchison 1990).

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Lolium pratense produces allelopathic substances that inhibit the growth of competing species (Hutchison 1990). In Missouri and Illinois, it occasionally invades open natural communities such as prairies and glades and in a few places is changing the species composition and possibly crowding out native species (Hutchison 1990; Smith 1993).

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

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Medium/Low significance
Comments: In Illinois and Missouri, Lolium pratense occasionally invades open natural communities such as prairies and glades and in a few places changes the species composition, possibly crowding out native species (Hutchison 1990). These communities are likely of conservation concern.

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: High/Medium

6. Current Range Size in Nation:High significance
Comments: Lolium pratense occurs in every state except Hawaii (Kartesz 1999). It is widespread in many states. See the subnational distribution data in these sources: Baldwin et al. 2004, Rice 2004, Rocky Mountain Herbarium 1998, Weber et al. 2004, Wisconsin State Herbarium 2004, Iverson et al. 1999, Weldy et al. 2002, Angelo and Boufford 2003, University of Tennessee Herbarium 2002, Rayner et al. 2000, and Texas A&M University BWG 1996.

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Medium/Low significance
Comments: In Kentucky, Lolium pratense is classified as a severe threat (KY EPPC 2000). In Tennessee, L. pratense is classified as a significant threat (TN EPPC 2001). In Oregon and Washington, Lolium pratense is classified as a wildland weed of lesser invasiveness (less agressive) (WNPS 1997). It is not listed by the California EPPC (CAL EPPC 1999). Lolium pratense occurs throughout Illinois, but is particularly common in southern Illinois where there is much pasture land (Hutchison 1990). In Missouri and Illinois, it occasionally invades open natural communities such as prairies and glades and in a few places is changing the species composition and possibly crowding out native species (Hutchison 1990; Smith 1993).

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:High/Moderate significance
Comments: At most 99% of units, inferred from Kartesz (1999) and TNC (2001). At least 20% of units, inferred from Kartesz (1999) and TNC (2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Low significance
Comments: In abandoned fields, meadows, roadsides, waste places, and moist soil throughout most of the U.S. (Hitchock 1950; Gleason and Cronquist 1991). In California, it occurs in disturbed places (Baldwin et al. 2004). In Illinois and Missouri, it occurs in pastures, abandoned fields, roadsides, grazed woods, levees, stream banks, along railroad tracks, and occasionally in open natural communities such as prairies and glades (Hutchison 1990; Smith 1993). In Michigan, it occurs on roadsides, shores, meadows, and waste ground, often damp (Voss 1972). In Virginia, it occurs in fields, roadsides, pastures, disturbed areas, railroad embankments, levees, and stream banks (Weakley draft 2004; VNPS & VDCR, not dated).

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

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Low significance
Comments: Lolium pratense already occurs in every state except Hawaii (Kartesz 1999). Once established, L. pratense is difficult to eradicate (Smith 1993). Presumeably its total range is remaining stable.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Insignificant
Comments: Inferred from USDA (1990) and Kartesz (1999), greater than 90% of its potential generalized range in the U.S. is currently occupied.

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Lolium pratense seeds are spread in manure (Hutchison 1990). At Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Lolium pratense has little potential for long-distance dispersal (APRS Implementation Team 2001).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:High/Low significance
Comments: In abandoned fields, meadows, roadsides, waste places, and moist soil throughout most of the U.S. (Hitchock 1950; Gleason and Cronquist 1991). 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:Low significance
Comments: In abandoned fields, meadows, roadsides, waste places, and moist soil throughout most of the U.S. (Hitchock 1950; Gleason and Cronquist 1991). In Illinois and Missouri, Lolium pratense occasionally invades open natural communities such as prairies and glades (Hutchison 1990). Lolium pratense is slow to establish (Smith 1993).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Low significance
Comments: In Canada, it occurs on roadsides, meadows, and waste places (Scoggon 1978).

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Moderate significance
Comments: At Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Lolium pratense produces 11-1000 seeds per plant and seeds remain viable in the soil for more than 5 years (APRS Implementation Team 2001). Reproduces vegetatively and by seeds (APRS Implementation Team 2001). Mechanical methods are virtually useless in controlling it because of the thick root system and vegetative reprouting (VNPS & VDCR, not dated).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: High/Low

17. General Management Difficulty:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Lolium pratense is slow to establish but once the clumps are formed it is difficult to eradicate (Smith 1993). Mechanical methods are virtually useless in controlling it because of the thick root system and vegetative reprouting; the most effective method for severe infestation is burning early in the growing season, followed by spot appliation late in the growing season of a glyphosate herbicide (VNPS and VDCR, not dated). It may be necessary to burn and spray 2 or 3 years in succession (Smith 1993). It can withstand trampling and heavy grazing by livestock (Hutchison 1990). Mowing and grazing do not reduce existing populations and may encourage spreading by root stocks (Hutchison 1990).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Medium/Low significance
Comments: It may be necessary to burn and spray 2 or 3 years in succession (Smith 1993). Repeated burning for 2-4 years may be needed to achieve good control (Hutchison 1990). At Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore seeds remain viable in the soil for more than 5 years (APRS Implementation Team 2001).

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:High/Low significance
Comments: Glyphosate is nonselective (VNPS and VDCR, not dated). On native prairies with a major invasion, scout the prairie just prior to herbicide application to make sure prairie species are dormant and fesuce is active or expect some damage to those species (Smith 1993).

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:High/Low significance
Comments: Festuca pratensis is commonly sown for pasture and hay (Hutchison 1990). It is tolerant of a wide range of moisture conditions and has been planted for eroision control along levees and stream banks (VNPS & VDCR, not dated). At least in some areas, accessibility may 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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