Sinapis arvensis - L.
Corn Mustard
Other English Common Names: Charlock, Wild Mustard
Synonym(s): Brassica kaber (DC.) L.C. Wheeler ;Brassica kaber var. pinnatifida (Stokes) L.C.Wheeler ;Brassica kaber var. schkuhriana (Reichenb.) L.C.Wheeler
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Sinapis arvensis L. (TSN 23310)
French Common Names: moutarde des champs
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.138200
Element Code: PDBRA2B020
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Mustard Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Capparales Brassicaceae Sinapis
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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: Sinapis arvensis
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 (19Mar2012)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States 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), Nevada (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), Labrador (SNA), Manitoba (SNA), New Brunswick (SNA), Newfoundland Island (SNA), Northwest Territories (SNA), Nova Scotia (SNA), Ontario (SNA), Prince Edward Island (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, 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, NVexotic, NYexotic, OHexotic, OKexotic, ORexotic, PAexotic, RIexotic, SCexotic, SDexotic, TNexotic, TXexotic, UTexotic, VAexotic, VTexotic, WAexotic, WIexotic, WVexotic, WYexotic
Canada ABexotic, BCexotic, LBexotic, MBexotic, NBexotic, NFexotic, NSexotic, NTexotic, ONexotic, PEexotic, 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: Low/Insignificant
Rounded I-Rank: Low
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Sinapis arvensis is a Eurasian annual currently established in every US state. It is relatively common in most states (especially the Northeast and Great Lakes states), with the exception of the Southeast, where it establishes only rarely. It is virtually absent from land that has not been recently disturbed and is thought to be very infrequent in natural habitats. It predominantly invades cultivated fields, open disturbed areas, roadsides, and railroads, and is sometimes also found in riparian habitats (e.g. riverbanks and lakeshores), old fields, and grasslands (pastures, Midwestern prairies, and California grasslands). In Michigan, it is invading dry and moist woods, but its distribution is likely limited in those habitats because it is not shade-tolerant. Impacts are essentially limited to competition with native species that also prefer disturbed environments. However, this species can be difficult to eradicate from an area once established because it forms an extremely long-lived seed bank.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Insignificant
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: Medium
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Low
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Medium/Low
I-Rank Review Date: 07Jun2006
Evaluator: Gravuer, K.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Apparently native to a significant portion of Eurasia, including Europe, the Russian Federation (European part, Ciscaucasia, s. Eastern Siberia, s. Western Siberia), Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, n. Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia. However, it is widely naturalized and is probably only truly native to the Mediterranean region (USDA-ARS 2005).

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: This species is a non-native that is established outside of cultivation (Kartesz 1999).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: Predominantly invades cultivated fields and field edges (particularly spring-sown grains and cereals), open disturbed areas (e.g. waste places and gardens), and roadsides and railroad areas. Sometimes also found in riparian habitats (e.g. riverbanks and lakeshores), old fields and forest edges, or grassland habitats (pastures, Midwestern prairies, and California grasslands). Additionally, according to Voss (1985), in Michigan it is "invading woods, both dry and moist". (Spencer 1940, Drew 1941, Fernald 1950, Kearney and Peebles 1951, Muenscher 1955, Buchholtz et al. 1960, Peck 1961, Steyermark 1963, Hitchcock et al. 1964, Seymour 1969, Agricultural Research Service 1970, Correll and Johnson 1970, Mulligan and Bailey 1975, Strausbaugh and Core 1978, Martin and Hutchins 1980, Hough 1983, Voss 1985, Great Plains Flora Association 1986, Kartesz 1988, Gleason and Cronquist 1991, Hickman 1993, Haines and Vining 1998, Diggs et al. 1999, Rhoads and Block 2000, Plants for a Future 2001, Welsh et al. 2003, Wunderlin and Hansen 2003, Brusati and DiTomaso 2005, Holmgren et al. 2005, Jones 2005, Cal-IPC 2006, Weakley 2006, Wisconsin State Herbarium 2006)

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Insignificant

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Insignificant
Comments: This species has been established in North America since at least 1748 (Mulligan and Bailey 1975). Despite being present for over 250 years and being reasonably well-studied because of its significance as an agricultural weed, no reports of impacts on ecosystem processes or system-wide parameters were found. Therefore, assume impacts insignificant.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Insignificant
Comments: Noted to be "common" in many invaded areas (Mulligan and Bailey 1975). This abundance may slightly increase the density of the herbaceous layer in the habitats it invades. No other impacts on community structure reported.

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: This species exhibits rapid early growth, which allows it to be an effective competitor under certain conditions (Mulligan and Bailey 1975), most notably in agricultural fields. However, it is not shade-tolerant (Plants for a Future 2001), so its impacts are limited to relatively open environments. Some limited impacts on community composition may occur when this species establishes abundantly in sites where natives might otherwise establish.

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: This species is one of many non-natives that invades grasslands that are habitat for the federally threatened San Joaquin adobe sunburst (Pseudobahia peirsonii) (US Fish and Wildlife Service 2002, cited in Brusati and DiTomaso 2005). It is not known to produce any interspecific hybrids in nature (Mulligan and Bailey 1975).

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: This species is "virtually absent from land that has not been recently disturbed" (Mulligan and Bailey 1975) and was noted to be "very infrequent in wildlands" in California (Brusati and DiTomaso 2005). In Michigan, it is "invading woods, both dry and moist" (Voss 1985), but it is not shade-tolerant (Plants for a Future 2001), so presumably much of this woodland invasion is occurring in areas with local disturbance. However, in California, it is found in grassland communities (Cal-IPC 2006), some of which appear to be of conservation significance as habitat for threatened animal species (US Fish and Wildlife Service 2002, cited in Brusati and DiTomaso 2005).

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: Medium

6. Current Range Size in Nation:High significance
Comments: Established in every US state, including Alaska and Hawaii (Kartesz 1999). Appears relatively common in most states (especially the Northeast and Great Lakes states), with the exception of the Southeast, where it establishes only rarely (Wunderlin and Hansen 2003, Jones 2005, Weakley 2006).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Noted as a "weed" in a number of US regions (NRCS 2006), but appears to invade disturbed habitats almost exclusively. In Michigan, it is "invading woods, both dry and moist" (Voss 1985), suggesting the possibility of some biodiversity impact there.

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:High significance
Comments: Greater than 35 ecoregions are invaded, based on visual comparison of the generalized range and ecoregions map (The Nature Conservancy 2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Low significance
Comments: Grows in high light, unshaded areas in a variety of soils, though it appears to have a preference for heavy, alkaline soils (Mulligan and Bailey 1975, Diggs et al. 1999, Plants for a Future 2001). Apparently, it is highly associated with disturbance and is very infrequently found in natural or wildland areas (Brusati and DiTomaso 2005). Predominantly invades cultivated fields and field edges (particularly spring-sown grains and cereals), open disturbed areas (e.g. waste places and gardens), and roadsides and railroad areas. Sometimes also found in riparian habitats (e.g. riverbanks and lakeshores), old fields and forest edges, or grassland habitats (pastures, Midwestern prairies, and California grasslands). Additionally, according to Voss (1985), in Michigan it is "invading woods, both dry and moist". (Spencer 1940, Drew 1941, Fernald 1950, Kearney and Peebles 1951, Muenscher 1955, Buchholtz et al. 1960, Peck 1961, Steyermark 1963, Hitchcock et al. 1964, Seymour 1969, Agricultural Research Service 1970, Correll and Johnson 1970, Mulligan and Bailey 1975, Strausbaugh and Core 1978, Martin and Hutchins 1980, Hough 1983, Voss 1985, Great Plains Flora Association 1986, Kartesz 1988, Gleason and Cronquist 1991, Hickman 1993, Haines and Vining 1998, Diggs et al. 1999, Rhoads and Block 2000, Plants for a Future 2001, Welsh et al. 2003, Wunderlin and Hansen 2003, Brusati and DiTomaso 2005, Holmgren et al. 2005, Jones 2005, Cal-IPC 2006, Weakley 2006, Wisconsin State Herbarium 2006)

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Low

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Low significance
Comments: This species was introduced to the United States quite early; it was common in fields around Albany, NY by 1748 (Mulligan and Bailey 1975) and may even have been present in the US since prehistoric times (Holmgren et al. 2005). In 1940, it was apparently still spreading to new areas (Spencer 1940). At this time, however, it occurs in all 50 US states, so its range is no longer increasing.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Because this species is already widespread, it cannot expand further at a broad scale. However, it is still infrequent in the Southeast (Wunderlin and Hansen 2003, Jones 2005, Weakley 2006) and may expand to occupy more habitat there as disturbance produces additional potential colonization sites.

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: Through natural means, this species is not particularly well-adapted for long-distance dispersal; most seeds fall near the parent plant or may rarely be carried by wind or water (Brusati and DiTomaso 2005). It has achieved much long-distance spread as an impurity of crop and forage seed (Mulligan and Bailey 1975), but many states have now attempted to curtail this by designating the species as a noxious weed seed (NRCS 2006).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: This species is highly adapted to disturbance, so assumption is that its local range is not decreasing overall. It was, however, noted to be decreasing in New Jersey (Hough 1983).

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Low significance
Comments: This species is "virtually absent from land that has not been recently disturbed" (Mulligan and Bailey 1975) and was noted to be "very infrequent in wildlands" in California (Brusati and DiTomaso 2005). The presence of established plants significantly inhibits this species' germination and reduces the probability of recruitment of those seeds that germinate (Rees and Brown 1991). In Michigan, it is "invading woods, both dry and moist" (Voss 1985), but it is not shade-tolerant (Plants for a Future 2001), so presumably much of this woodland invasion is occurring in areas with local disturbance.

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Low significance
Comments: Established worldwide (Brusati and DiTomaso 2005), including at least Canada, South America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan (Mulligan and Bailey 1975, Randall 2002). Appears to be established in habitats largely similar to those it infests in the U.S. (e.g. Scoggan 1978, Webb et al. 1988).

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Moderate significance
Comments: An annual plant that reproduces only one per year by seed only. In Canada, plants grown in cultivated fields were found to produce 2000-3500 seeds per plant, with plants growing without competition producing much more seed (Mulligan and Bailey 1975). This species has a very long-lived seed bank; seeds may remain viable in the soil for up to 60 years (Mulligan and Bailey 1975). Consequently, it exhibits high persistence in many habitats (Hails et al. 1997).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Medium/Low

17. General Management Difficulty:Low significance
Comments: For small infestations, hand-pulling, cutting, or grazing as soon as the plants begin to flower can provide effective control (Muenscher 1955). It is important to remove plants prior to seed set because the seed bank is very long-lived. In areas where plants have already set seed in prior years, cultivation, disking, or harrowing will induce germination so that control measures can be applied (Muenscher 1955). For larger infestations, where feasible, mechanical methods such as mowing or harrowing will control this species (Muenscher 1955). Herbicides can also be used (Mulligan and Bailey 1975), although biotypes resistant to a number of commonly used herbicides (e.g. 2,4-D, dicamba, imazethapyr) are known (Zheng and Hall 2001, Warwick et al. 2005, Jugulam et al. 2005). There is also some concern that genes for herbicide resistance inserted into the related species Brassica napus may escape to this species through hybridization (U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment 1993). However, the probability that these two species will hybridize to produce viable seeds under natural conditions is virtually zero.

18. Minimum Time Commitment:High/Moderate significance
Comments: This species has a very long-lived seed bank; seeds may remain viable in the soil for up to 60 years (Mulligan and Bailey 1975). Consequently, it exhibits high persistence in many habitats (Hails et al. 1997).

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: The opportunity for control by hand-pulling means that, in many cases, management could result in only very minor impacts on native species. If herbicide application is necessary, however, there is the potential for some impact to occur.

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:Low significance
Comments: Because this species is strongly associated with disturbance, infestations that are targets for control should be relatively accessible. However, because so many infestations are located on farmland, some targets for control will likely be on private land.
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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